Abe Lincoln in Illinois


Abe Lincoln in Illinois

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Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Raymond Massey plays Abe Lincoln in this moving adaptation of Robert Sherwood's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Expanded a bit for cinematic purposes, the film traces Lincoln's progress from his days of scrambling for a living as a woodsman, to his courtship of the tragic Ann Rutledge (Mary Howard) and then the mercurial Mary Todd (Ruth Gordon), to the formative years of his law practice, to his debates with Stephen Douglas (Gene Lockhart), and finally to his election as President of the soon-to-be-divided United States in 1860. Latter-day critics have complained about Massey's stolidity in his signature role, but even the most stone-hearted viewer will be moved by such scenes as Lincoln riding through the ruins of what once was the village of Salem; Abe's heated election-eve quarrel with his spiteful wife Mary; and his climactic speech from the observation car of the train that will carry him to Washington...and immortality. Abe Lincoln at Illinois turned out to be a succes d'estime for its producer Max Gordon and its studio (RKO), taking a bath to the tune of $750,000. Its failure moved one Hollywood wise-guy to collar Gordon at a party and say, "I can't understand it, Max. Lincoln was so kind to everybody but you." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Raymond Massey
as Abraham Lincoln
Gene Lockhart
as Stephen Douglas
Ruth Gordon
as Mary Todd
Mary Howard
as Ann Rutledge
Dorothy Tree
as Elizabeth Edwards
Harvey Stephens
as Ninian Edwards
Minor Watson
as Joshua Speed
Alan Baxter
as Billy Herndon
Howard Da Silva
as Jack Armstrong
Maurice Murphy
as John McNeil
Clem Bevans
as Ben Mattling
Herbert Rudley
as Seth Gale
Roger Imhof
as Mr. Crimmin
Edmund Elton
as Mr. Rutledge
George Rosener
as Dr. Chandler
Trevor Bardette
as John Hanks
Elisabeth Risdon
as Sarah Lincoln
Aldrich Bowker
as Judge Bowling Green
Louis Jean Heydt
as Mentor Graham
Harlan Briggs
as Denton Offut
Andy Clyde
as Stage Driver
Leona Roberts
as Mrs. Rutledge
Florence Roberts
as Mrs. Bowling Green
Fay Helm
as Mrs. Seth Gale
Elizabeth Risdon
as Sarah Lincoln
Syd Saylor
as John Johnston
Alec Craig
as Trem Cogdall
Peggy Ann Garner
as Little Girl
John Cromwell
as John Brown
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Critic Reviews for Abe Lincoln in Illinois

All Critics (5)

Fine characterization of Lincoln by Raymond Massey with strong period look and feel.

Jan 1, 2008 | Rating: 4/5

A serviceable biopic.

Jul 5, 2006 | Rating: B | Full Review…

John Cromwell's historically inaccurate biopic, which is inferior to Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln, was nonetheless nominated for two Oscars: Raymond Massey and cinematography.

Jan 27, 2006 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Abe Lincoln in Illinois

This was Canadian Raymond Massey's big hit. He was known as the definitive Lincoln after this portrayal. I have to admit though that I really hate these older biopics with without any edge to them. All the historical figures end up coming across as swell guys. How about highlighting a point in a guy's life when he was a little bit more colourful?

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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