7.6/10
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159 user 67 critic

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

Passed | | Biography, Drama, History | 9 June 1939 (USA)
A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.

Director:

John Ford

Writer:

Lamar Trotti (original screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Henry Fonda ... Abraham Lincoln
Alice Brady ... Abigail Clay
Marjorie Weaver ... Mary Todd
Arleen Whelan ... Sarah Clay
Eddie Collins ... Efe Turner
Pauline Moore ... Ann Rutledge
Richard Cromwell ... Matt Clay
Donald Meek ... Prosecutor John Felder
Judith Dickens Judith Dickens ... Carrie Sue
Eddie Quillan ... Adam Clay
Spencer Charters ... Judge Herbert A. Bell
Ward Bond ... John Palmer Cass
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of Abraham Lincoln that has NEVER been told!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[last lines]
Efe Turner: Ain't you goin' back, Abe?
Abe Lincoln: [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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Strictly Courtroom (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe (circa 1856)
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Played at the end and sung by an unidentified chorus
See more »

User Reviews

Appealing and accurate in its own way
6 April 2004 | by muvphanSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Young Mr. Lincoln See more »

Filming Locations:

Sacramento, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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