Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

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    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

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • 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)

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().