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 <email@example.com>
John Ford: [speak-to-the-grave scene] Lincoln talks to the deceased Ann Rutledge at her gravesite. See more »
In the opening scene, where Lincoln gives his campaign speech for election to the Illinois legislature, he states he adheres to the principles of the Whig Party. The scene takes place in 1832 or 1833. If it is the earlier date, he was more than likely a National Republican, but the Whig Party was founded in 1833, in plenty of time for Lincoln to serve as a Whig member of the Illinois House of Representatives, which he did from 1834 until 1842. See more »
Henry Fonda brilliantly captures what we have long believed Abraham Lincoln was like. It is a fooler. Through Fonda's performance we are led to believe (on the surface) that Abraham Lincoln was a country bumpkin. But, through his confrontation with the lynch mob and especially during the court proceedings, you can see that beneath the exterior posturings is a brilliant man who has a very good command of what is going on around him and how to influence the people around him.
In this movie Henry Fonda shows that he has a very good grasp of how to present humor. It is an aspect of him that has been lost over the years. When he is telling stories and jokes he has the timing down perfect. There is a sequence in the trial that had me laughing quite hard. He shows this gift again in The Lady Eve in 1940.
The ending by John Ford is absolutely brilliant with Henry Fonda going to the top of a hill and in the distance a tremendous storm symbolic of the Civil War. He goes forward into history. The movie is fiction but the insight into Lincoln is tremendous. Definitely worth seeing again.
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