John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »
Ten years in the life of Abraham Lincoln, before he became known to his nation and the world. He moves from a Kentucky cabin to Springfield, Illinois, to begin his law practice. He defends two men accused of murder in a political brawl, suffers the death of his girlfriend Ann, courts his future wife Mary Todd, and agrees to go into politics.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the Springfield parade scene, the crowd chants "hayfoot, strawfoot!" at the militia soldiers as they march past. This is a reference to the army training practice of the time of putting hay on the left hand boot of recruits, and straw on the right hand boot, so that sergeants could get recruits to march in step. The largely rural farm boy population of the country that made up the army often didn't know left from right, but they knew the difference between hay and straw. The practice actually was most common in the Civil War. See more »
When Abe and Ann are walking along the river in Spring it is flowing in one direction. After Ann's death when Abe visits her grave in the winter, the river is flowing in the opposite direction. See more »
Ain't you goin' back, Abe?
[as the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" begins playing softly in the background]
No, I think I might go on a piece... maybe to the top of that hill.
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Amazingly, I have just seen this film for the first time. I was not expecting such a wonderful portrayal by Mr. Fonda and the accuracy (within Hollywood limits of the time) by Mr. Ford. I am no Lincoln historian, but I have read enough about him that I recognize the truth in the spirit of this film. A number of details could certainly be noted as historically inaccurate; on the other hand, the image of Mr. Lincoln as a lawyer who cares for people, truth, and mercy is quite accurate. One reviewer writes that Mr. Lincoln is made to appear as a country bumpkin, using humor when he is unable to use anything useful. To the contrary, Mr. Lincoln was realistic about his country origins; he used humor to convince, drive home an important point, and win people to his view; he was self-effacing. The manner in which Mr. Fonda portrays him in this film does homage to the man. The film may conflate history for entertainment purposes (it is, after all, a Hollywood production), but it is not as unhistorical as many believe. While sentimental (as to be expected of a 1939 film about an American icon), Young Mr. Lincoln is an admirable presentation of the spirit of the man.
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