Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Abraham Lincoln (1930)

This film (84 minutes) crackles with age, but is still worthy viewing, and is historical for more reasons than just because it is about our 16th president. It was D.W. Griffith's first "talkie", and has a resplendent performance by Walter Huston. It also boasts a script by poet and novelist Stephen Vincent Benet, and beautiful cinematography by Karl Struss, of placid pastoral scenes, exquisitely lit interiors, and depictions of the Civil War.
Huston's marvelous portrayal of Lincoln is broad and strong, with angular body language and a "gentle giant" feeling.
The film starts at Lincoln's birth, through the struggles of his youth and love for Ann Rutledge (Una Merkel), marriage to the eccentric Mary Todd (Kay Hammond), whose mental fragility is subtly demonstrated in how she tries to get out a spot in some fabric, his persistence in keeping the Union together through the war at all costs, and his assassination.
A wonderful "biography" film, and a good example of early filmmaking.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home