Young Mr. Lincoln

Dealing with Lincoln's early days in Salem, the film reverberates with Ford's love for the Great Emancipator, and benefits from a performance by Henry Fonda described by Frank Nugent in the New York Times of June 3, 1939, as “one of those once-in-a-blue-moon things: a crossroads meeting of nature, art and a smart casting director. His performance kindles the film, makes it a moving unity at once gentle and quizzically comic.... The result... a film which indisputably has the right to be called Americana.”
Both Andrew Sarris and Peter Bogdanovich are much taken with the Fordian vision of Lincoln's brief romance with Ann Rutledge. Notes Sarris, “Ford... managed to compress the romance into two lateral tracking shots... the low-key matter-of-factness with which Fonda and Ford handle this scene makes it comparable in its evocation of eternity to the greatest moments in Mizoguchi.”

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.