Young Mr. Lincoln

Docudrama | English | 100 minutes

In New Salem, Illinois, a traveling family stops to buy groceries at a store run by Abraham Lincoln. Unable to pay, they offer Lincoln instead a law book, Blackstone’s Commentaries. Lincoln devours the book that will decide his future. In 1837 he arrives in the larger city of Springfield, Illinois and establishes his law practice. At an Independence Day celebration, Scrub White is killed when he pulls a gun on two brothers, Matt and Adam Clay. The two brothers are accused of murder. As their attorney, Lincoln saves them from a lynching. With great skill Lincoln also proves their innocence in court. Admiring this young charismatic lawyer is Mary Todd. They marry and the ambitious Mary becomes influential in pushing Lincoln to further his career.
Henry Fonda (Abraham Lincoln) / Marjorie Weaver (Mary Todd) / Richard Cromwell (Matt Clay) / Eddie Quillan (Adam Clay)
Why Stream This Film?
Young Mr. Lincoln was admired by Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein for its “embodiment of the national spirit” and the Cahiers du Cinéma for its “excellent convergence of ideology and style.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 100%
  • Metacritic Score: 91
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Original Screenplay (Lamar Trotti)
  • National Board of Review: Winner, Best Actor (Henry Fonda); Listed, Top Ten Films of the Year
  • Young Mr. Lincoln received a  perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.
The early days of Abraham Lincoln gets the full treatment in this film by director John Ford, who simultaneously makes Lincoln both a man and a myth.
TV GUIDE staff


Henry Fonda’s characterization is one of those once-in-a-blue-moon things: a crossroads meeting of nature, art, and smart casting. YOUNG MR. LINCOLN is not merely a natural and straightforward biography, but a film which indisputably has the right to be called Americana.
Frank S. Nugent.

The New York Times

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