7.6/10
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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 »

Photos

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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 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

Henry Fonda's makeup was based on photographs taken when Lincoln was about 45 years old and had lost weight due to the stresses of his job as a lawyer and his grief over the loss of Anne Rutledge; they were the earliest photos of Abraham Lincoln available at the time. It was not until years after this film was released that a photograph of Abraham Lincoln aged about 25 surfaced in a photograph collection. Ir was entitled "Photograph of a young man" and had been taken in 1844. The photograph shows that at the time it was taken, Lincoln was a sturdily built young man with a lean bony face and high cheekbones that made him very good looking if not handsome. See more »

Goofs

In the final courtroom scene, Lincoln accuses the witness Clay of stabbing Scrub White in the back. In the earlier fight scene, it's clear Scrub White is on his back when Clay comes to him, and Clay tells the sheriff White was killed by a knife in the heart. See more »

Quotes

Abe Lincoln: [questioning Cass about Scrub's death] What were you and Scrub arguing about?
John Palmer Cass: I'd rather not say.
Abe Lincoln: Oh, you'd rather not say. Well, Jack, I'd rather you did say.
John Palmer Cass: All right. We was arguin' about politics.
Abe Lincoln: Well, that's something new to argue about.
John Palmer Cass: I've learned some since, but I told Scrub I thought you had at least as much political sense in you as Stephen Douglas. Scrub got as mad as a wet hen and said you didn't!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Strictly Courtroom (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Cry of Freedom
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by George Frederick Root
Played during the opening credits and sung by an unidentified chorus
See more »

User Reviews

 
This interesting movie follows Lincoln in his younger years as an intelligent Springfield advocate at law
11 March 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is an evocative and idealized portrait of the early life of Lincoln(born 1809 Hodgensville-Kentucky- and died in Washington 1865). Ford's excellent movie takes Abraham Lincoln(Fonda) from his youth. He studied laws, common law and began practice as lawyer in 1837.This Hollywood biography follows Lincoln from his log-cabin days, initial relationship to Mary Todd(Weaver), following the couple from their first ball,and his departure for congress candidate. But focuses mainly on a brothers(Richard Cromwell,Eddie Quillan) accused for murder, the posterior trial with amusing court debate scenes and the protection for their mum(Alice Brady). The Lincoln-Fonda as defender advocate and Donald Meek-prosecutor are nothing short of brilliant.

Excellent performance from Henry Fonda as idealistic,traveller Springfield solicitor , he was to star regularly for Ford from this movie, as ¨Grapes of wrath,My darling Clementine, and Fort Apache¨. Besides sterling acting by Alice Brady as grieved mother, she was a great actress from the silent cinema, but this one results to be her last movie because she early died from cancer.The Lincoln's deeds developing make for skilfully appealing entertaining.His portrayal shows a nostalgic longing for things past and old values and describes his goodness,uprightness and willful. Lincoln, like John Ford, was a straightforward man who never varied the ideals of his youth.This American masterpiece is correct on both counts, as splendid biography and as magnificent drama.

Another biographies about Abraham Lincoln are the following: 1) ¨Abraham Lincoln¨(1930) by D.W.Griffith with Walter Huston, Una Merkel, talking from his birth until his assassination; 2) ¨Abe Lincoln in Illinois¨(1940)by John Cromwell with Raymond Massey, Ruth Gordon, concerning similar events to Ford's film through his career as lawyer 3)TV version titled ¨Gore Vidal's Lincoln¨ with Sam Waterston and Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Todd.


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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
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