Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
David Mullen ASC

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

Recommended Posts

I just watched the new Criterion blu-ray. A wonderful movie by John Ford, sort of a simple drama with a lot of interior dialogue scenes, not an exterior western, with a great performance by Henry Fonda. Shot by Bert Glennon (I worked for a month with Jim Glennon, his son, on "Big Love" just before he passed away) with an early exterior scene shot on the Sacramento River by Arthur Miller.


The wide shots by the river are beautifully framed, reminding me of Miller's work on "How Green Was My Valley":






The first time you meet Lincoln in the movie is shot under a high noon hard sunlight, and throughout the film, Fonda is ofter lit with a high top light. I think this was done for a couple of reasons -- one, it brings out Fonda's cheekbones, making them more like Lincoln's, second, it gives Fonda a sculptural quality reminiscent of the statue in the Lincoln Memorial, and third, at times the shadow under his cheeks and chin give the impression of a beard:








This shot near the end was done on the backlot of 20th Century Fox in the area where Century City now sits:


  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love this movie! One of my all time favorites. We screened this last year in our film club in Helsinki from my lovely 16mm print. Eisensteins have written a great essay about this film where he famosly writes: “Suppose some truant good fairy were to ask me … ‘Is there some American film you’d like me to make you the author of – with a wave of my wand?’ I would not hesitate to accept the offer, and I would at once name the film that I wish I had made. It would be Young Mr. Lincoln directed by John Ford.”

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not seen this film, but will soon. In the stills you provided David, it looks like Fonda has a prosthetic nose on. Is this the case? It looks rather good for the year the film was made, but doesn't look like the Henry Fonda I know.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Paralinx LLC

    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

    Ritter Battery

    Metropolis Post


    Wooden Camera

    Serious Gear


    Broadcast Solutions Inc

    Tai Audio

    Visual Products

    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

    Rig Wheels Passport

    Abel Cine

    Gamma Ray Digital Inc

  • Create New...