Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) - Rotten Tomatoes

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Young Mr. Lincoln Photos

Movie Info

In this biography of Abraham Lincoln, the President is wonderfully portrayed by Henry Fonda. The film follows Lincoln during his early years in Illinois, as he rises from a country boy born in a log cabin to a famous lawyer in Springfield.

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Henry Fonda
as Abraham Lincoln
Marjorie Weaver
as Mary Todd
Alice Brady
as Abigail Clay
Arleen Whelan
as Sarah Clay
Eddie Collins
as Efe Turner
Pauline Moore
as Ann Rutledge
Judith Dickens
as Carrie Sue
Ward Bond
as John Palmer Cass
Donald Meek
as John Felder
Spencer Charters
as Judge Herbert A. Bell
Eddie Quillan
as Adam Clay
Dorris Bowdon
as Carrie Sue
Milburn Stone
as Stephen A. Douglas
Cliff Clark
as Sheriff Billings
Charles Tannen
as Ninian Edwards
Francis Ford
as Sam Boone
Fred Kohler Jr.
as Scrub White
Kay Linaker
as Mrs. Edwards
Russell Simpson
as Woodridge
Edwin Maxwell
as John T. Stuart
Charles Halton
as Hawthorne
Delmar Watson
as Adam Clay (younger)
Jack Kelly
as Matt Clay as a Boy
Dick Jones
as Adam Clay as a Boy
Jack Pennick
as Big Buck
Louis Mason
as Court Clerk
Frank Orth
as Loafer
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Young Mr. Lincoln

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (4)

This first product of the Ford-Fonda partnership -- reputedly a favourite not only of Ford but of Eisenstein too -- today commands classic status.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Fonda's physical presence throughout the film is a thing of magic, as he seems to glide from one position to the next, never looking awkward even when he is bent in three places to fit within the frame.

March 8, 2006

One of the decade's most significant works, the film was admired by Soveit director Sergei Eisenstein for its embodiment of the era's spirit and by the French critics of Cahiers du Cinema for its convergence of ideology and style.

January 26, 2006 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

Henry Fonda's characterization is one of those once-in-a-blue-moon things: a crossroads meeting of nature, art and a smart casting director.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Outstanding, inspirational story of Honest Abe's early days.

February 1, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

John Ford produced greater films, but perhaps not a single one that was more perfect or more Fordian... [there's] a confidence of purpose and a unity across all the elements of its creation.

June 29, 2009 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Young Mr. Lincoln

fonda is truly great in this, a very entertaining film

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


John Ford's Young Mr.Lincoln is less biopic than a courtroom drama as the young lawyer's first big case is defending two men accused of murder ... but this lawyer is Abraham Lincoln, the greatest president. And so this intelligent work is only flawed by the "humble reverence" undercutting every scene, telling us to love instead of allowing us to do so. Otherwise a commendable piece.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


A perfect film and an amazing portrayal of Lincoln by Fonda. The scene of the killing contains some of my favorite images on film.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

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