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Lincoln onscreen
07-21-2013, 01:44 AM
Post: #1
Lincoln onscreen
I've been on a North and South kick this week. I hadn't seen the mini series since the first two installments originally aired in 1985 and 1986 and had forgotten Hal Holbrook's portrayal of Lincoln. It got me to thinking about all the actors who have played the part of Lincoln in the movies and on television, and who was the most accurate.

One thing that bothers me is wondering how Lincoln's voice must have sounded. Many actors portray him as a tenor and almost sound like they are whining. i have never seen a description and I wonder how accurate that interpretation is?

Joseph Henabery may have been the first actor when he portrayed the President in Birth of a Nation in 1915. Hal Holbrook seemed too short. Henry Fonda was great as a young Abe. Sam Waterston, Gregory Peck, Raymond Massey, and the most recent, Daniel Day Lewis, are a few of the great actors who have given it a shot. My personal favorite is Fonda.

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07-21-2013, 04:51 AM (This post was last modified: 07-22-2013 07:08 PM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #2
RE: Lincoln onscreen
(07-21-2013 01:44 AM)Cinderbama Wrote:  One thing that bothers me is wondering how Lincoln's voice must have sounded. Many actors portray him as a tenor and almost sound like they are whining. i have never seen a description and I wonder how accurate that interpretation is?
Most descriptions I read are like this: "...Although his larynx was large he had a high-pitched voice, which grew shrill and squeaky upon emotional excitement..."
( http://www.lincolnportrait.com/common_se...asymm.html )


Horace White reported his voice was "thin, high-pitched", had "much carrying power" and "could be heared a long distance in spite of the bustle and tumult of the crowd" (when Lincoln delivered his first "antislavery" speech in Springfield on Oct.4, 1854).

My favourite actor is DDL (I've not seen many others, but I can't imagine anyone could beat his outstanding performance.)
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07-21-2013, 06:30 PM
Post: #3
RE: Lincoln onscreen
Like Eva, my vote goes for DDL!

Bill Nash
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07-21-2013, 08:34 PM (This post was last modified: 07-21-2013 08:38 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #4
RE: Lincoln onscreen
I liked the way Gregory Peck looked as Lincoln, but I like the portrayl of Lincoln by Frank McGlynn in "The Littlest Rebel"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTMTfM_aZ-c

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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07-21-2013, 08:44 PM
Post: #5
RE: Lincoln onscreen
Gene, I think that Shirley Temple scene with Lincoln is so charming.

Bill Nash
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07-26-2013, 04:41 AM
Post: #6
RE: Lincoln onscreen
As Mark Reinhart shows in his book, "Abraham Lincoln on Screen," Lincoln was portrayed on film long before Henabery did it in 1915, begininng in 1908. The name of the first actor to portray him, in the 1908 "The Blue & the Grey," is lost to history. I think the next one was Ralph Ince. Mark's book is essential. Some of his opinions may be at odds with those of the reader, but his attention to historical details, innacuracies, and the depth of his research is mind boggling. (He and I once did a joint presentation about Lincoln on TV and in films at Ford's Theatre. Seated in the audience were both Jim Getty (who is a fine somewhat polished yet somehow still folksy Lincoln in his own right!) and the son of Joseph Henabery.
Holbrook took great pains to make his Lincoln's voice and rustic accent historically accurate. I think Sam Waterston did, too. I find McGlynn a little blustery, and I sometimes detect his brogue, but he is so enjoyable to watch. I personally like Walter Huston's sometimes whining drawl the best (for a talkie. I like George Billings' Lincoln the best for a silent film.) . It's too bad the script in Griffith's "Abraham Lincoln" is so awful, so stilted, so episodic and that Una Merkel is so awful as Ann Rutledge. It may have been the fault of the script for all I know. It's one of the worst films, but it does have its moments. My favt. Lincoln film is still "Young Mr. Lincoln." Daniel Day-Lewis didn't do it for me, I am sorry to say. He's a great actor, but I don't think he was a great Lincoln. I can't pin my finger on why, tho. It's a personal thing. We all "see" Lincoln differently!
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06-07-2017, 10:31 AM
Post: #7
RE: Lincoln onscreen
Here is a short book of 64 page with several illustrations from the movie "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" staring Raymond Massey.
The book is titled "Abraham Lincoln His Life in Illinois", published in 1940.

https://archive.org/stream/abrahamlincol...1/mode/2up

There are copies available from Amazon for around $10

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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06-07-2017, 01:26 PM
Post: #8
RE: Lincoln onscreen
(06-07-2017 10:31 AM)Gene C Wrote:  Here is a short book of 64 page with several illustrations from the movie "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" staring Raymond Massey.
The book is titled "Abraham Lincoln His Life in Illinois", published in 1940.

https://archive.org/stream/abrahamlincol...1/mode/2up

There are copies available from Amazon for around $10

Thank you so much for sharing - the pictures are GREAT!

In case of emergency, Lincoln and children first.
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06-07-2017, 01:38 PM
Post: #9
RE: Lincoln onscreen
(06-07-2017 01:26 PM)Angela Wrote:  
(06-07-2017 10:31 AM)Gene C Wrote:  Here is a short book of 64 page with several illustrations from the movie "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" staring Raymond Massey.
The book is titled "Abraham Lincoln His Life in Illinois", published in 1940.

https://archive.org/stream/abrahamlincol...1/mode/2up

There are copies available from Amazon for around $10

Thank you so much for sharing - the pictures are GREAT!

I agree. Thanks for sharing Gene. While that movie was excellent, Daniel Day Lewis will always be Lincoln in my book.

Thomas Kearney, Professional Photobomber.
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06-07-2017, 02:51 PM (This post was last modified: 06-07-2017 02:51 PM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #10
RE: Lincoln onscreen
Same here, Thomas. And I agree on the photos. Unfortunately very blurry when I zoom (the text is near impossible to figure). Thanks for sharing, Gene.
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06-07-2017, 03:03 PM
Post: #11
RE: Lincoln onscreen
Eva, see if this is any better

https://archive.org/details/abrahamlincolnhi00bark

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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06-08-2017, 10:48 AM
Post: #12
RE: Lincoln onscreen
Thanks much Gene - that works perfectly! Very cool photos indeed!
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