7.6/10
6,348
132 user 63 critic

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

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)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutionary War begins.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After an accident Raymond has gone blind .His family treats him like a child .But fortunately ,a nun comes to his rescue.She works in a center where blind people learn to read with the Braille alphabet.

Director: Georges Lacombe
Stars: Jean Gabin, Simone Valère, Gérard Oury
Pass Over (2018)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two young men pass the time dreaming of the promised land.

Directors: Spike Lee, Danya Taymor
Stars: Jon Michael Hill, Julian Parker, Ryan Hallahan
The Red Inn (1951)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A group of travelers, including a monk, stay in a lonely inn in the mountains. The host confesses the monk his habit of serving a soporific soup to the guests, to rob their possessions and ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Autant-Lara
Stars: Fernandel, Françoise Rosay, Marie-Claire Olivia
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Julien publishes an autobiography focusing on his childhood memories and his odd relationship with his long-estranged mother. His mother, who is unaware of the book's content, tries to reconnect with him and redeem the lost time.

Director: Alexis Durand-Brault
Stars: Gabriel Sabourin, Denise Filiatrault, Sophie Lorain
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An Italian movie crew goes to London to make a documentary about a murder case that took place a few years before.

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Fabrizia Sacchi, Andrew Tiernan
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The departure of the German Army from Paris in 1944.

Director: René Clément
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Boyer, Leslie Caron
Mirage (1965)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An accountant suddenly suffers from amnesia. This appears related to the suicide of his boss. Now some violent thugs are out to get him. They work for a shadowy figure known simply as The Major.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Gregory Peck, Diane Baker, Walter Matthau
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In Paris around 1900, Georges Randal is brought up by his wealthy uncle, who steals his inheritance. Georges hopes to marry his cousin Charlotte, but his uncle arranges for her to marry a ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Geneviève Bujold, Marie Dubois
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Famous swimmer Nikhil Kapoor (Suri) deals with the repercussions of announcing the fact that he has HIV/AIDS.

Director: Onir
Stars: Sanjay Suri, Juhi Chawla, Purab Kohli
Les ogres (2015)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

They go from town to town, a big top on their backs, their show over their shoulder. They bring dreams and disorder to our lives. They are ogres, giants. They've devoured the theater and ... See full summary »

Director: Léa Fehner
Stars: François Fehner, Marion Bouvarel, Marc Barbé
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 1960s Dublin a young girl becomes involved with an older man, a much-travelled and still married land-owner.

Director: Desmond Davis
Stars: Peter Finch, Rita Tushingham, Lynn Redgrave
Edit

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
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eddy Waller ... Father (scenes deleted)
Clarence Wilson Clarence Wilson ... Dr. Mason (scenes deleted)
Edit

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!

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mladost prezidenta Lincolna See more »

Filming Locations:

Sacramento, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally John Ford did not want to direct Young Mr. Lincoln because there had already been two productions done about Abraham Lincoln as a young man. See more »

Goofs

Ann's hands change position when talking with Abe about her red hair. 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

Turkey in the Straw
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played on a Jew's-harp by Henry Fonda
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Great Ford, and Great Americana
12 June 2001 | by roy-4See all my reviews

Why does this movie get so little attention? Maybe because it came out in that overstuffed great-movie year, 1939 (Wizard of Oz, Dark Victory, Grand Illusion, GWTW [which I can't stand]). But I really think it's because YML is a transitional film for Ford -- it's stuck between his early expressionistic period ("The Informer") and his classic Western period, with one stylistic foot in each. And it's unabashedly patriotic, only hinting at the dark reimagining of the American experience that the Master would come to in "The Searchers" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" -- but still hinting at it enough to turn off the McVeighs among us.

Maybe that's why I love it. You can see Ford coming to terms with the grand, Griffithesque vision of America through its most complicated avatar, Lincoln. Ford's love for his country was more like Lincoln's than Griffith's, anyway: like Lincoln, he acknowledged the genius of the democratic experiment, but he was also aware of its dangers: mob rule and self-satisfaction. YML's greatest scenes are all about this.

First, there's the local parade Abe attends, surrounded by yahoos whom he loves but also sees for what they are. (We see him in another scene accepting a legal case from one of these -- and warily biting the coin offered him for a retainer.) Veterans of the recent War of 1812 and Indian Wars march through; the crowd is wild for them, Abe merely respectful.Then a agon of old men in tricorners is pulled through the parade route. No one seems to know who they are. Lincoln quietly informs his friends that they are veterans of the War for Independence -- and gravely doffs his stovepipe hat. His friends, mildly ashamed (it appears) of their prevous jingoistic glee, follow suit, and stand silent and hatless as the old men pass.

Then the mildly ludicrous plot -- about two brothers accused of another man's murder -- kicks in, and Abe goes to work. The scene where he confronts a lynch mob, putting his foot up against the log they're using for a battering-ram against the jailhouse door, is a classic by any standard. But note how Abe talks to the mob on its own level while remaining, in spirit, resolutely on his own higher plane. After appealing to their macho impulses by offering to "lick any man here," he delivers a house-divided speech that soothes their savagery and leaves them confused and irresolute. "Dontcha wanna put that log down now, boys?" he asks when they have been flummoxed by his eloquence. "Ain't it gettin' a mite heavy?"

Throughout Ford indulges in shameless historical foreshadowings that would have made Stephen Vincent Benet blush. Abe meets Mary Todd and Stephen Douglas; he rides down a dirt road with a bumpkin who's playing a new tune called "Dixie" on a jaw-harp. "Kinda makes you feel like marchin'!" says the bumpkin, as he and Abe ride through a muddy patch in the road.

The ending is impossible to describe without inviting derision, but I swear to you, it works. Having won his case, Lincoln allows as how he might take a walk -- "maybe to the top of that hill." As he trudges on, the skies send down rain and lightning -- and Abe seems to know what this is a prelude to.

I acknowledge the superiority of the great Ford films that came after, but I will always have a special place in my heart for "Young Mr. Lincoln." Independence Day (the federal day of observance, not the movie) is coming; you could do far worse than to watch this great film before the barbecue.


25 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 132 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed