Young Mr. Lincoln

1939

Young Mr. Lincoln

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 22

81%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,298
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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.

Cast

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
Clarence Wilson
as Dr. Mason
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
View All

Critic Reviews for Young Mr. Lincoln

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (22)

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

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    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.

    Mar 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.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Rating: A | Full Review…

    Emanuel Levy

    Variety
    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…
  • As Eisenstein pointed out, Ford would go on to make grander, greater films. But none were quite so discreetly powerful as Young Mr. Lincoln .

    Jun 3, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Modern audiences will no doubt find the trial portion of the film quaint, but Fonda plays Lincoln with such calm, centered confidence that it's also a refreshing change of pace from the aggressive histrionics of today's cop/legal thrillers and TV shows.

    May 11, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Young Mr. Lincoln

  • Apr 15, 2013
    What Ford and Spielberg have discovered is that you can take any slice of Lincoln's life and put together a very entertaining film. It makes a film exploring his entire life ultimately lacking. Fonda does an admirable job of exploring areas of character development in young Abe.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 03, 2013
    fonda is truly great in this, a very entertaining film
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Feb 09, 2013
    I'm usually wary of historical fiction, but this one is pretty great. Ford keeps the film from straying too much into sentimentality and Fonda is the perfect choice to play the mythologized version of Lincoln.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2011
    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 J Super Reviewer

Young Mr. Lincoln Quotes

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