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ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1930)
Running Time: 01:30:01
MPAA Ratings: NR (Suitable for Children)
Directed by : D.W. Griffith
Starring : Walter Huston.... Abraham Lincoln
Una Merkel.... Ann Rutledge
Kay Hammond.... Mary Todd
Hobart Bosworth.... Gen. Robert E. Lee
Writing credits : Stephen Vincent Benet (screenplay)
Black & White
Abraham Lincoln remains on of the most enigmatic and influential personages in history. D.W. Griffith (with over 500 other films such as Lady Of The Pavements and The Struggle to his credit) directed this film in 1930 (his first talkie), which is remarkable for its splendid script by poet-novelist Stephen Vincent Benet, the faithful depiction of the key characters and convincing vignettes of the American Civil War. Walter Huston as Abraham Lincoln and Una Merkel as Ann Rutledge give performances that rise masterfully above the technical limitations imposed on early cinema. This classic historical film, fully restored on DVD by A2ZCDS, succeeds in giving the viewer a genuinely empathic feeling of destiny.
THE PLOT : "Young Abraham Lincoln (Walter Huston) refuses to be constrained to a country-yokel existence in his native Springfield, Illinois. His vision of a higher calling is actively supported by his lady love, Ann Rutledge (Una Merkel) . Lincolns success as a lawyer brings him to the notice of political kingmakers as a possible candidate for the American Presidency. Personal tragedy strikes when Ann is taken from him by an untreatable disease - he marries the eccentric Mary Todd on the emotional rebound, but not without misgivings. Attaining the Presidency, Lincoln finds himself required to take a stand on segregation issues between whites and blacks - his historical decision to free colored Southern slaves catalyzes the infamous Civil War. Compelling scenes of personal doubt - and victory over it - lead up to final victory...and the emancipation of the Western world from the evil of slavery. However, bigoted political detractors, headed by John Wilkes Booth (Ian Keith) take a drastically different viewpoint of this development..."
EDITORIAL REVIEW : "In portraying the life of Americas most celebrated president, Director D.W. Dixon succeeds in capturing a depth of human elements that no subsequent films have achieved. From the rustic, rural charm of his native Springfield to the volatile political intrigue of Washington, Lincoln retains his vulnerable, yet profoundly strong humanistic character.
The pathos of Ann Rutledges death scene has been compared to that of Ali McGraws Jenny in Love Story, and its long-term effects on Lincolns later life have been brilliantly reproduced. The causes and ramifications of Civil War, the despair of possible failure, the exultant victory and the tragic end of American historys most significant presidencies is a historic movie experience you will never forget..."
"After watching this classic rendition of Abraham Lincolns most important years (Abraham Lincoln from A2ZCDS), I know for sure that such a life has not been before and will not be again. He WAS a man - a real man who felt love, joy, despair and hurt just like you and I do. This is more than a historical film - this is an immortal tribute to this countrys greatest statesman..."
Customer's Name : Cassandra P. Breckenridge (Barre, VERMONT)
"D.W. Griffiths early classical film Abraham Lincoln is a life-changing experience, and all the more so because it is in black and white. Walter Huston has put in a brilliant piece of acting, and I cant imagine any other giving a comparable performance. I will never take this nations extent of personal freedom for granted again."
Customer's Name : Julian Dunaway (Hot Springs, ARKANSAS)