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Author Topic: Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)  (Read 4493 times)
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« on: February 20, 2006, 05:02:13 PM »


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032155/


My Criterion edition of Young Mr Lincoln arrived this morning and apart from it being an excellent Ford film, it contains the BBC chat show Parkinson in which he interviews Henry Fonda and the infamous line about Fonda's appearance in OUATITW is uttered "Jesus Christ, it's Henry Fonda!"

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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2006, 05:16:20 PM »

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the film?

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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2006, 05:27:08 PM »

Mrs Lincoln  Huh  Grin . I enjoyed it very much so. It does seem to show Lincoln in two lights, and its an interesting time in which to see him. I would recomend it to any Ford fans who havent seen it yet.

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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2006, 10:57:23 PM »

I like the way Lincoln is presented as a folk hero, almost a legendary figure, without worrying too much about historical accuracy. Constantly the film references different aspects of the mythos (the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the union with Mary Todd, and of course the future presidency) without spelling things out for the viewer. The viewer is expected to know the tradition, so Ford is free to work up minor details and embellish vignettes. The trial sequence, which reminds one of Twain, could be the model for the subsequent Perry Mason TV show. They don't make films like this any more, and they never did.

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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2006, 05:29:32 AM »

So Mr Ford is in some ways responsible for the 'court room drama' genre in TV/Film. 

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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2006, 05:12:56 PM »

Only in the same way that SL is responsible for all the SW's that followed in the wake of FOD's success.

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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2010, 04:57:09 PM »

Groggily I say unto thee...

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1939 was a great year for John Ford: he turned out three great films, including Stagecoach, Drugs Along the Mohawk, and Young Mr. Lincoln. The latter film is a pitch-perfect, poetic ode to Americana, a celebration of American democracy and one of its most revered figures.

Abraham Lincoln (Henry Fonda) is an unschooled Illinoisan who takes up law after the death of sweetheart Ann Rutledge (Pauline Moore). Lincoln finds himself the defense attorney in an extremely sticky case: two brothers (Richard Cromwell and Eddie Quillan) stand accused of murdering a farmer, but only one seems to have actually done it. Lincoln determines not only to defend the boys, but to clear them of the crime altogether.

No film director has more thoroughly defined America's past than John Ford. As in Drums Along the Mohawk, Ford eschews the "traditional" view of history, with its privileged men in wigs making history: it's the little people, the hard-working, rough-hewn frontiersmen (and women) who really shape a nation's destiny. The movie expects us to know Lincoln's historical achievements, providing only clever hints - his rivalry with Stephen Douglas (Milburn Stone), his flirtation with Mary Todd (Marjorie Weaver). Of more interest is the man behind the monument, the man haunted by personal loss (not only Ann, but most of his family), determined to do right by the truth and Constitution. In John Ford's America, justice is always done.

Ford provides a masterful directing job, lacing the film with beautifully metaphorical sequences: a well-handled fair epitomizing Ford's reverence for community, Lincoln facing down a lynch mob, the climactic storm. The courtroom scenes sparkle with wit and tension, well-crafted by screenwriter Lamar Trotti, and the twist is well-handled (if a bit obvious in retrospect). Ford establishes a distinct cinematic language, presaging his later works: Fonda leaning back on a rocking chair, like in My Darling Clementine; Alfred Newman's poignant love theme, later re-used in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. There's more than a bit of cornball humor and sentimentality, but this comes with the Ford territory. It's a cinematic poem, and realism oughtn't be a concern.

Henry Fonda gives perhaps his best performance. His Lincoln is a beautiful creation, embodying everything good about the American character: hard-working, curious, intelligent, honest and witty, driven by healthy ambition. Fonda makes the character credible, and he's simply a joy to watch. The supporting cast is good if unspectacular: Donald Meek (Stagecoach) gets a juicy supporting role as Fonda's blustering courtroom adversary; the ubiquitous Ward Bond and Jack Pennick turn up in small but important parts.

Young Mr. Lincoln is another classic John Ford film, and a must-watch for his fans.

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2010/06/young-mr-lincoln.html

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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2011, 10:23:45 AM »

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) Seen afterAbe Lincoln in Illinois this shows a lot of defects. As to plot, it has little more than Sgt. Rutledge, almost embarrassing for the idiocy of the final twist (I hope at least it was historically correct): I'll take any Perry Mason episode over this (and Rutledge). But it is Fonda's performance which is disheartening. He's playing Lincoln like he plays his other characters and that won't do because, unfortunately for him, Morley was to show the right way just a year later. A couple of scenes (the lynching, basically) save this from complete disaster (how can be considered a masterpiece it escapes my comprehension) but I can't give it more than 4\10.     

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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2011, 10:33:42 AM »

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) Seen afterAbe Lincoln in Illinois this shows a lot of defects. As to plot, it has little more than Sgt. Rutledge, almost embarrassing for the idiocy of the final twist (I hope at least it was historically correct): I'll take any Perry Mason episode over this (and Rutledge). But it is Fonda's performance which is disheartening. He's playing Lincoln like he plays his other characters and that won't do because, unfortunately for him, Morley was to show the right way just a year later. A couple of scenes (the lynching, basically) save this from complete disaster (how can be considered a masterpiece it escapes my comprehension) but I can't give it more than 4\10.     

didn't you notice how bad Fonda's makeup is? Particularly in the scene where he is kneeling over the woman's grave, you see the makeup end near his hairline! I must admit they did a good job making him look like Lincioln, but once you can spot the end of his makeup and the beginning of his normal-looking skin, it kills it for the viewer. I guess they thought they could get away with that more easily in black n' white movies

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