Thursday, January 19, 2017

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

IMDb plot summary: A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.
Directed by John Ford. Starring Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver, and Arleen Whelan.

Oh, goodness, this film is a product of its time. There is absolutely no subtlety or nuance here, and every moment is filled with so much "aw, shucks, I'm just a simple farm boy with all the wisdom in the world" goop that it's almost unbearable at times. It feels like an educational film for children focusing entirely on telling them that Lincoln was awesome no matter what he did. That being said, though, Henry Fonda does almost manage to pull it off. He has a sincerity to him that rings slightly truer than the rest of the film, which is determined to "Mary Sue" him from start to finish. He can't quite make up for it, but if there was something that makes it bearable, it's him.

1.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Young Mr. Lincoln < Cry-Baby
Young Mr. Lincoln > Miss Congeniality
Young Mr. Lincoln < Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Young Mr. Lincoln > Charlie Wilson's War
Young Mr. Lincoln < The Bishop's Wife
Young Mr. Lincoln < Last of the Red Hot Lovers
Young Mr. Lincoln > The Secret Life of Pets
Young Mr. Lincoln > Thoroughly Modern Millie
Young Mr. Lincoln < Mrs. Miniver
Young Mr. Lincoln < Rust and Bone
Young Mr. Lincoln > The Proposal

Final spot: #1729 out of 2562.

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