Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

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    There are 2 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)



      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      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

      Full 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 ... Carrie Sue (credit only)
      Eddie Quillan ... Adam Clay
      Spencer Charters ... Judge Herbert A. Bell
      Ward Bond ... John Palmer Cass
      Tiny Jones ... (scenes deleted) (as Elizabeth Jones)
      Eddy Waller ... Father (scenes deleted)
      Clarence Wilson ... Dr. Mason (scenes deleted)
      Ernie Adams ... Man with Lynch Mob (uncredited)
      Sam Ash ... Extra Dancing at Party (uncredited)
      Arthur Aylesworth ... New Salem Townsman (uncredited)
      Dorris Bowdon ... Carrie Sue (uncredited)
      Virginia Brissac ... Peach Pie Baker (uncredited)
      Paul E. Burns ... Loafer (uncredited)
      George Chandler ... Loafer (uncredited)
      Cliff Clark ... Sheriff Gil Billings (uncredited)
      Frank Dae ... (uncredited)
      Francis Ford ... Sam Boone (uncredited)
      Harold Goodwin ... Jeremiah Carter (uncredited)
      Charles Halton ... Hawthorne (uncredited)
      Herbert Heywood ... Tug-o'-War Contest Official (uncredited)
      Robert Homans ... Mr. Clay (uncredited)
      Dickie Jones ... Adam Clay as a Boy (uncredited)
      Jack Kelly ... Matt Clay as a Boy (uncredited)
      Fred Kohler Jr. ... Scrub White (uncredited)
      Kay Linaker ... Mrs. Edwards (uncredited)
      Robert Lowery ... Juror Bill Killian (uncredited)
      Jim Mason ... Juror (uncredited)
      Louis Mason ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
      Edwin Maxwell ... John T. Stuart (uncredited)
      Sylvia McClure ... Baby Clay (uncredited)
      Ivor McFadden ... Juror (uncredited)
      Tom McGuire ... Bailiff (uncredited)
      Dave Morris ... Loafer (uncredited)
      Frank Orth ... Loafer (uncredited)
      Jack Pennick ... Big Buck Troop (uncredited)
      Steven Randall ... Juror (uncredited)
      Russell Simpson ... Woolridge (uncredited)
      Milburn Stone ... Stephen A. Douglas (uncredited)
      Charles Tannen ... Ninian Edwards (uncredited)
      Harry Tyler ... Barber (uncredited)
      Dorothy Vaughan ... Apple Pie Baker (uncredited)
      Billy Watson ... Boy on Right of Bean Shooter (uncredited)
      Delmar Watson ... Admiring Boy in New Salem (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Lamar Trotti (screenplay)

      Bert Glennon
      Arthur C. Miller (uncredited)

      Henry Fonda wore specially made boots that made him appear taller.

      The trial of William "Duff" Armstrong, on which the fictionalized defense of Matt and Adam Clay shown in this movie is based, actually took place in 1858, when Lincoln was a successful railroad attorney and soon to be a nominee for the Senate. The other person accused of murder had been convicted in a separate trial several months earlier.

      Henry Fonda originally turned down the role of Lincoln, saying he didn't think he could play such a great man. He changed his mind after John Ford asked him to do a screen test in full makeup. After viewing himself as Lincoln in the test footage, Fonda liked what he saw, and accepted the part. He later told an interviewer, "I felt as if I were portraying Christ himself on film."

      John Ford and producer Darryl F. Zanuck fought an extended battle over control of the film. Ford even had unused takes of the film destroyed so the studio could not insert them into the movie. One scene that Ford insisted on cutting was a scene where Lincoln met his future assassin, a very young John Wilkes Booth.

      Final film of Alice Brady.

      "Academy Award Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on July 10, 1946 with Henry Fonda reprising his film role.

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

      Continuity: At Ann's grave, Abe's knee touches the ground twice.

      Continuity: The position of Abe's elbow changes between shots when telling Ann that he might go into law.

      Continuity: When comparing a farmer's dog to Scrub White, Abe's hand leaves the bench between shots.

      Anachronisms: Lincoln is shown playing "Dixie" on a Jew's harp. That portion of the film is ostensibly set in the year 1837, but most reliable sources indicate that "Dixie" wasn't written, publicly performed nor published before 1859. During the Civil War, Lincoln was known to be partial to the tune (it was almost as popular in the North in the 1860s as in the South), but it's unlikely he would have heard it in the 1830s.

      Anachronisms: 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, but the Whig Party wasn't formed until 1836. (In 1832 Lincoln was a National Republican, the Whigs' predecessor party.)

      Continuity: When Abe crosses over fence to stand next to Ann there isn't as nearly the height difference between them as when they walk together along the fence.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Sacramento, California, USA
      (river scenes)
      Stage 3, 20th Century Fox Studios - 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie of John Ford- Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

      Young Mr. Lincoln is a 1939 fictionalized biography/drama film
      about the early life of President Abraham Lincoln,
      directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda.
      Ford and producer Darryl F. Zanuck fought for control of the film,
      to the point where Ford destroyed unwanted takes for fear the studio
      would use them in the movie. Screenwriter Lamar Trotti
      was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing/Original Story.

      User Review

      12 June 2001 | by roy-4 ([email protected]) (brooklyn)
      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.
      In 2003, Young Mr. Lincoln was selected for preservation
      in the United States National Film Registry by the
      Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().