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Abraham Lincoln [VHS] (1930)

Walter Huston , Una Merkel , D.W. Griffith  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Walter Huston, Una Merkel, William L. Thorne, Lucille La Verne, Helen Freeman
  • Directors: D.W. Griffith
  • Writers: Gerrit J. Lloyd, John W. Considine Jr., Stephen Vincent Benet
  • Producers: D.W. Griffith, Joseph M. Schenck
  • Format: Black & White, Color, EP, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 2
  • Studio: Simitar Entertainmen
  • VHS Release Date: November 6, 1996
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304287887
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,561 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars old but worthy April 17, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This film 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, the main attraction in this for me is Huston's Lincoln. The old quality of this 1930 film almost enhances the feeling that "this was the man".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D.W. Griffith takes a Money Shot at talky films... December 1, 2008
By Eddie
Accused of fostering racism in America after his Masterpiece, "The Birth of a Nation", David "D.W" Griffith takes a shot at making sound (talky) films with Abraham Lincoln (1930). Griffith was heavily influenced by the still photography of Matthew Brady and that influence can be seen in the almost "Newsreel" like feel of this movie. Many have criticized the performance of Hollywood legend Una Merkel (Ann Rutledge). However, a lot of her performance can be attributed to the dialogue and the fact that this was D.W. Griffith's first of only two talking movies. Walter Huston gives an award winning performance as Abraham Lincoln even though he was somewhat handicapped as an actor with the slow pace of the film. You can see that there is an amount of unease with Griffith and the new technology. All told, this is the greatest telling of the life of Abraham Lincoln from a true film master.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A D.W. Griffith epic about Abraham Lincoln's life, "Abraham Lincoln" was the film that would show many that silent filmmaker D.W. Griffith had what it takes to make movies in the talkies era.

Griffith's 1930 film "Abraham Lincoln" now receives the HD treatment courtesy of Kino Lorber and thanks to the restoration work of The Museum of Modern Art for the Blu-ray release.

D.W. Griffith is one of America's pioneering filmmakers. Known for creating large-scale silent films such as "The Birth of a Nation", "Intolerance", "Broken Blossoms", "Orphans of the Storm", D.W. Griffith was the big budget super-director during the silent era.

And in 1919, D.W. Griffith along with Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, wanted to control their own interests rather than depending on powerful studios of the time and created United Artists.

But when talkies came and literally ended the life of silent cinema, the once wealthy and powerful D.W. Griffith now became a vulnerable director, an alcoholic, an older director at 53-years-old and because of his work in the silent era, many were not sure if D.W. Griffith can transition into the talkies.

His relationship with producer Joseph M. Schenck was now being tested as films from D.W. Griffith were not earning enough profit for the producer despite doing well compared to others who came from the silent era. And communication between both men was deteriorating.

So, in 1930, D.W. Griffith, a fan of Carl Sandburg's written work on Abraham Lincoln, but also a fan of Lincoln's stories, would go on to work on "Abraham Lincoln". But as the relationship with Schenck soured, Schenck was no longer interested in giving Griffith the money to make big films, in fact, Schenck resorted to D.W.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Abraham Lincoln December 29, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This is a very informative video on the great Emancipator. Distributed by Simitar Entertainment, Inc. this video is an excellent introduction to one of our nations greatest presidents. Using stills and what looks to be clips from older movies this video does a good job covering the main events of Abraham Lincoln's life. The movie gives good biographical information about Lincoln's childhood. It touches on his famous debates with Stephen Douglass, the tragic death of several of his close loved ones (mother, sister, two children), his entrance into politics, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, an overview of the civil war, and his assasination. I have seen or read about some things that were NOT in this video such as rumors of an assasination plot prior to his taking the oath of office, his invention of a flat river boat, what happened to his wife and son Robert, his dream of his own death, and also the many parallels of his assasination with that of John F. Kennedy. For those seeking accounts about his sincere but introverted faith in Christ, accounts of prayer, his Thanksgiving Proclamation, his love for and usage of the bible in his speeches, his meeting with Frederick Douglass, his incredibly small staff, his desire to put "In God We Trust" on our currency this is not really a video that explores these areas. On a purely secular level this video is a good review of Lincoln's childhood and Presidency.The life of Lincoln contains so many rich lessons of honesty, charity, and endurance that I would reccommend this video and others like it. In a world where honest servant leaders are so seldom found Lincoln's legacy stands like a giant straddling the ages. Aesthetically, in a few places on the video certain shots are used repeatedly and some of the footage looks rather old. On the positive side there are some good stills and the music is the type and variety that you'd expect from the civil war era.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A 5 STAR REVIEW
Published 8 months ago by TNG1951
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie tells it like it was
Walter Huston does a heartwarming performance in this movie. It starts with Lincoln as a young man and goes on to his assassination. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Terry
3.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray movie, documentary
When I ordered this movie I intended to order another movie named merely "Lincoln." This is an earlier interpretation of Lincoln's life whereas the intended movie is the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Keith V. Weigel
5.0 out of 5 stars D.W.GRIFFTH;S LINCOLN
this movie was done very well and walter huston did a very good job as Lincoln but the price for the idem is to much
Published 22 months ago by wayne clark
5.0 out of 5 stars abraham lincoln
just love this old movie iam glade it came out on bluray and it is restored abraham lincoln was made back in 1930 but it looks like it was just for released for the movie theaters.
Published 22 months ago by vernon egolf
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!
The quality of this script and the acting very quickly minimize the scratchiness of the sound & black & white doesn't matter a bit. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ellen N. Lundberg
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent achievement from the early years of Hollywood.
What I love here is the historical recreation of scenes from Abe's life depicted in this film. Though its age may be quite obvious, it still holds up as a great landmark from... Read more
Published on April 22, 1999 by Golden Girls fan
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