Susie, a plain young country girl, secretly loves a neighbor boy, William. She believes in him and sacrifices much of her own happiness to promote his own ambitions, all without his ... See full summary »
The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.
Gum-chewing frizzy-haired gold-digger Marie Skinner cooks up a scheme with her lover Babe Winsor, a jazz hound, to fleece a portly, middle-aged real estate tycoon, William Judson. Marie ... See full summary »
Brief vignettes about Lincoln's early life include his birth, early jobs, (unsubstantiated) affair with Ann Rutledge, courtship of Mary Todd, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates; his presidency and the Civil War are followed in somewhat more detail, though without actual battle scenes; film concludes with the assassination.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Although the film credits Gen. Phillip Sheridan for saving Washington from the threat of a Confederate offensive by Gen. Jubal Early, Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren of VI Corps was actually most responsible for saving the capitol. Sheridan did not command VI Corps but he did command the Army of the Potomac's cavalry. Warren was commander of the military district that included Maryland and part of Pennsylvania. He stopped Early's Confederates at the Battle of Monocacy, near Frederick, MD, on July 9, 1864. While the overall battle was a Confederate victory, Warren's defeat of Early delayed Early's attack on Washington for a day, giving the Union time to bring up reinforcements. The Confederates launched an attack on Washington again on July 12 but were badly defeated at the Battle of Fort Stevens and retreated to Virginia, never launching an attack on Washington again. See more »
General Lee repeatedly addresses an officer as Colonel, or Colonel Marshall, but the officer wears the insignia of a Captain on his collar. See more »
Originally, this film was color-tinted in sepia-tone, with blue for night scenes. These prints also had a prologue. Current public-domain prints are in black and white, minus the prologue with a shorter running time. See more »
If one were to commission a film depicting the life of Abraham Lincoln, in 1930, one might well produce this film; and, one would be very satisfied with the resulting "Abraham Lincoln", both artistically, and commercially. Today, however, this is not a very exciting film. It succeeds somewhat as a series of staged vignettes, depicting stories about President Lincoln.
Walter Huston is given the difficult job of portraying the revered Lincoln, and he excels, after a shaky start. Director D.W. Griffith employs a fine supporting cast, with mixed results. Early scenes are hampered by the characterizations offered by Una Merkel (as Ann Rutledge) and Kay Hammond (as Mary Todd); these are "the romances" of Lincoln's life; and, they are awful. The courtship scenes involving Mr. Huston and Ms. Merkel are particularly absurd. Henry B. Walthall is notable, later on; but. he doesn't have much to do. It might have been interesting to see Mr. Walthall play John Wilkes Booth -- admittedly, this was an unlikely consideration at the time; and, Ian Keith is perfectly suitable in the role. Walthall graciously supports Hobart Bosworth (as Robert E. Lee) during his screen time; and, Mr. Bosworth is outstanding.
There is no mystery in the main story elements: he was born in a log cabin, and is assassinated in the end. Griffith acquaints himself well with "sound" in a film, though, in hindsight, it is a technical weakness. There are moments, or flashes, of "greatness" in the film, but they don't contribute to a collective work of consequence. Griffith treats Lincoln with a reverence that is oddly uncomfortable; by the film's end, the story structure confirms Lincoln has become Divine. The ending reprise of "Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on..." nicely evokes both "John Brown's Body" and the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." An appropriate connection.
******* Abraham Lincoln (8/25/30) D.W. Griffith ~ Walter Huston, Kay Hammond, Hobart Bosworth
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