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Tennessee Johnson (1942)

Passed | | Biography, Drama | December 1942 (USA)
Biography of Andrew Johnson, who followed Abraham Lincoln into office and became the first President of the United States ever to be impeached.


William Dieterle


John L. Balderston (screen play by), Wells Root (screen play by) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Heflin ... Andrew Johnson
Lionel Barrymore ... Thaddeus Stevens
Ruth Hussey ... Eliza McCardle Johnson
Marjorie Main ... Mrs. Maude Fisher
Regis Toomey ... Blackstone McDaniel
J. Edward Bromberg ... Coke
Grant Withers ... Mordecai Milligan
Alec Craig ... Sam Andrews
Charles Dingle ... Senator Jim Waters
Carl Benton Reid ... Congressman Hargrove
Russell Hicks ... Lincoln's Emissary
Noah Beery ... Sheriff Cass (as Noah Beery Sr.)
Robert Warwick ... Major Crooks
Montagu Love ... Chief Justice Chase
Lloyd Corrigan ... Mr. Secretary


This biopic focuses on Andrew Johnson, the first American president to be impeached. Initially an uneducated drifter who stumbles upon a job as a tailor in a Tennessee town, Johnson is taught to read by librarian and future wife, Eliza. Eliza convinces him to enter a local election, and, from there, Johnson rises swiftly. However, after inheriting the presidency in the wake of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, he finds himself on unsteady political ground.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From Poverty to President A Great American Story!


Biography | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Van Heflin suffered from appendicitis during filming. The production filmed around him and his illness did not cause a delay in production. See more »


The Vice-Presidential oath administered by the Chief Justice is incorrect (using the Presidential oath, adding "Vice"). In reality, the Vice-President's oath is the same generic oath taken by a Senator or Congressman. See more »


all in this scene: [first lines]
Mrs. Maude Fisher: There, see that?
[pointing to the jail cuff clamped around Andrew Johnson's ankle]
Blackstone McDaniel: [Andrew quickly looks up from sewing his pantleg and appears startled and nervous] We didn't see nothin' stranger.
Mrs. Maude Fisher: [as the group approaches him] I seed ya sewin' though!
Mordecai Milligan: First time I ever see a man sew like that.
Andrew Johnson: I done tailorin'.
Mordecai Milligan: How much you want to sew the seat in a pair-a britches?
Andrew Johnson: I wouldn't work here.
[continues sewing his pants]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening outline includes a disclaimer about historical facts being changed for entertainment purposes. See more »


The Battle Cry of Freedom
Written by George Frederick Root
In the score during the foreword, reprised in the score for the last scene
See more »

User Reviews

Another Excellent Movie..lost in shuffle...
16 July 2003 | by olddiscsSee all my reviews

Never heard of this film until yesterday 7/15/03..and I am a film buff Thanks agaim to TCM... not sure of the historical 100 % accuracy but the main story is history: re: Andrew Johnsons Impeachment /came up during the Clinton impeachment trial... never knew this was filmed.. Van Heflin is brilliant..as the maligned president... as is the rest of the cast...Lionel Barrymore is especially excellent as he hams up the screen. Missed the first few minutes..cant wait till TCM schedules again!! Lost in the shuffle of great films released in late 30s early 40s ! Not to be missed

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Release Date:

December 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tennessee Johnson See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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