Abraham Lincoln (1930) torrent download

Abraham Lincoln

1930

Action / Biography / Drama / History / War

5.7

Synopsis

Brief vignettes about Lincoln's early life include his birth, early jobs, (unsubstantiated) affair with Ann Rutledge, courtship of Mary Todd, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates; his presidency and the Civil War are followed in somewhat more detail, though without actual battle scenes; film concludes with the assassination.

Director

D. W. Griffith

Cast

Walter Huston
as Abraham Lincoln
Una Merkel
as Ann Rutledge
William L. Thorne
as Tom Lincoln
Helen Freeman
as Nancy Hanks Lincoln
Edgar Dearing
as Armstrong

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lugonian 7 /10

Lincoln: "From the log cabin to the White House"

ABRAHAM LINCOLN (United Artists, 1930), directed by movie pioneer D.W. Griffith, is an interesting antique, being Griffith's first of two ventures in talking pictures.

This movie about an American president is more of Griffith's style, in spite that his technique in movie directing has become passé since the start of the roaring twenties. Handicapped by its slow pacing, Walter Huston gives a very fine performance in his title role, with Kay Hammond somewhat satisfactory as his wife and later first lady, Mary Todd Lincoln, along with Ian Keith adding fine support with his few scenes as John Wilkes Booth, a crazed stage actor who puts an end to Lincoln's life on that tragic day of April 14, 1865. However, it is Una Merkel as Ann Rutledge, Lincoln's true love interest in the early portion of the story, whose performance weakens the film. This capable actress might have made a go with her role if it weren't for some bad dialog she recites, such as responding to Lincoln following his proposal to her, "Yes, Abe. You've got your gingerbread." Then there are Griffith screen veterans of the silent era, Henry B. Walthall as Colonel Marshall; Hobart Bosworth as General Robert E. Lee; and the great character actress, Lucille LaVerne, the spiteful old hag in ORPHANS OF THE STORM (1921) appearing in an opening scene as Mrs. Lincoln's midwife. Her raspy voice fits her personality to a "T".

With the screenplay by Stephen Vincent Benet, this epic biography with episodic events opens with the birth of a great man, Abraham Lincoln, on February 12, 1809. Moments later viewers find the infant now "the ugliest and smartest man in New Salem" clerking at Denton Offut's general store, his romance with young Ann Rutledge who later dies, and functioning as a young lawyer. After he meets Mary Todd at a society ball, the scene shifts to Lincoln as a bridegroom having second thoughts about attending his own wedding. He eventually marries her. Move forward to the 1860 Lincoln-Douglas (E. Alyn Warren) debate, which, as seen on screen, is not much of a debate but just two participants delivering a few words of dialog each. Lincoln wins the presidency and is soon faced with his long battle with the Civil War and placing Colonel Ulysses S. Grant (Fred Warren) in charge to put an end to it. After the end of the war, 1865, Lincoln wins his second term election, but doesn't live to fulfill it.

Originally released in theaters at 97 minutes, ABRAHAM LINCOLN in recent years has become a public domain title distributed by various video companies, most presenting bad copies with shorter lengths, many cut down to about 84 minutes, some eliminating scenes with Lincoln heading over towards the cemetery during a thunder storm crying over Ann's grave; another involving Lincoln tender moments with his youngest son, Tad (Gordon Thorpe). After coming across these inferior copies in video stores, I've managed to locate an excellent and more accurate video copy in 1986, compliments of Blackhawk Video. Not only was the video print clear in both visuals and sound, it included restored events eliminated from reissue copies, the ones that had played on Arts and Entertainment channel, Turner Classic Movies (where it made its debut March 8, 2007) and many public television stations during the late night hours. Reissue prints begin with a view of a log cabin and sound track of whistling winds superimposed with the title of February 12, 1809. In the nearly restored 93 minute video copy, it begins with a five minute prologue done in the silent film tradition showing slaves being shipped to the United States followed by other historic events and conversations amongst various politicians (one of them played by Henry Kolker), before shifting towards the event of Lincoln's birth in a log cabin. There are other silent sequences interacted into the story later on, as well as some off screen singing in the sound track not shown in the edited versions.

It's been said that ABRAHAM LINCOLN was a financial and critical success upon release. By today's standards, it hasn't stood the test of time. Future retelling on Lincoln's life, YOUNG MR. LINCOLN (1939) with Henry Fonda, and ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS (1940), with Raymond Massey, are both excellent in their own way and continue to hold interest. However, Griffith's adaptation is the only one of the three mentioned to focus on the Civil War. Regardless of its handicaps, Griffith's first talkie on the life of Lincoln has some interesting moments, but otherwise it's a rather dull affair. Worth viewing for history buffs, but aside from Lincoln's frequent remark, "The union must be preserved," don't expect an accurate history lesson out of this. (**1/2)

Reviewed by Rambler 8 /10

D.W. Griffith's last hurrah: a tribute to Abraham Lincoln

This film was to be D.W. Griffith's big comeback production, and it did very well for "the old master." In fact, it was chosen as number two of the Ten Best Pictures of 1930 by The Film Daily, just below "All Quiet On The Western Front!" Sadly, due to the horrible condition of the available prints of this film, no really fair analysis can be made today. As with so many early talkies, Abraham Lincoln is now a sickly shadow of what it was in 1930. To begin with, it's original running time is listed at approximately 96 minutes. The version presented on Laserdisc runs 83 minutes.The film shows signs of wear and duping. The soundtrack is horribly distorted and, in several scenes, seems to be missing totally, replaced by terrible music from a stock library. Even so, if one can look past these things and take the acting style in the context of its time, one can see that Griffith had not lost his flair and would have probably continued directing had the fates (and probably Hollywood) not conspired against him. There are wonderful cinematic moments, reminiscent of some of his earlier triumphs. This is a film that cries out for restoration but, alas, there is most likely little or nothing left to restore. UPDATE: In 2008, KINO International released a DVD version of Abraham Lincoln that is far more complete than the old Laserdisc I reviewed from in 1998. While some soundtrack from the Prologue is still missing, KINO has made up for it by adding subtitles for the missing dialogue. Also, the picture quality is far superior to anything else available. It is evident that much effort went into making this forgotten film much more watchable and available!

Reviewed by mstomaso 4 /10

Dull, but Interesting from an historical perspective

Famous silent film director D. W. Griffiths gave us this plodding straightforward historical biopic of the sixteenth president of the United States. As one of Griffiths' few attempts at 'talkies', Abraham Lincoln is by no means outstanding. Like other films of the period, some of the actors (especially Ian Keith as J.W. Booth and Walter Huston as Lincoln) overact their gestures and facial expressions. While others overcompensate for the new medium and seem to play their roles too subtly (Una Merkel's Ann Rutledge).

The film tells the story of Lincoln's rise from humble roots to become one of the most accomplished American orators of all time, while retaining the plain-spoken character that endeared him to the nation. The film uses an appreciative tone, and does not fairly represent Lincoln's considerable political acumen and the very calculated campaign strategies which put him in office. Instead, Griffiths chose to present Lincoln as the good, but somewhat melancholic president we know him to have been.

The story is told in a series of vignettes depicted in scenes of about equal length - probably a limitation of the film technology available at the time. This mode of presentation does nothing to reduce the boredom factor. Most of the lines are pronounced very clearly with lengthy unnatural pauses between each line. Clearly, Griffiths was a little uncomfortable in the new sound medium and did not wish to experiment a great deal with it. The film picks up a bit as the civil war becomes its main focus. And some of the battle scenes are classic Griffiths' near-silent cinematography. However, even this is somewhat muted by the scenes of the president brooding over the dispatches he receives from his generals describing defeat after defeat.

Recommended for early film buffs and young Lincoln afficionados only

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