Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)

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Director: John Cromwell
Cast: Raymond Massey, Ruth Gordon


The career of Abraham Lincoln, starting from Kentucky and ending with his election as President in 1860.

The Review

For once a biopic which does not tire you out like most, mainly thanks to a subtle and witty approach and a concentration on the pre-glory days in the backwoods, and themes arising therefrom. Massey is perfect, and there are plenty of opportunities for the speechwriters, making this a fine companion piece to Ford's Young Mr Lincoln. In short, all the better for not being made by MGM, Fox or Warners (it was an RKO release of an independent production).