Abe Lincoln in Illinois Overview:

Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) was a Biographical - Drama Film directed by John Cromwell and produced by Max Gordon.


This screen adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Robert E. Sherwood depicts the life of America's 16th president. From his early days as a modest shopkeeper in Illinois to his reluctant decision to run for political office for the first time, the film delves into the personal struggles of the man the world came to know as the Great Emancipator. Massey is particularly brilliant in this role, especially in the depiction of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1940 --- Ceremony Number 13 (source: AMPAS)

Best ActorRaymond MasseyNominated
Best CinematographyJames Wong HoweNominated

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Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)

By Beatrice on Apr 12, 2014 From Flickers in Time

Abe Lincoln in Illinois Directed by John Cromwell Written by Robert E. Sherwood based on his play 1940/USA Max Gordon Plays & Pictures Corporation/RKO Radio Pictures First viewing/Streaming on Amazon Instant Video I love Raymond Massey’s portrayal of Lincoln. ?But does it make up for all... Read full article

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Quotes from

Mentor Graham: Well, Abe, there are always two occupations open to those who have failed at everything else: school teaching and politics.

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Facts about

Herbert Rudley repeats his role from the original stage production.
After his success playing Lincoln in the film and on Broadway, Raymond Massey began to assume the character in real life. He often appeared at social gatherings dressed in Lincoln-esque attire, assuming a Lincoln-like manner and speech. His friend, the playwright George S. Kaufman, observed, "Massey won't be satisfied until someone assassinates him."
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie onApril 22, 1940 with Raymond Massey reprising his film role.
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Best Actor Oscar 1940

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Also directed by John Cromwell

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Also produced by Max Gordon

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Also released in 1940

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