Abe Lincoln in Illinois (RKO 1940, Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart)



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.

Abe Lincoln in Illinois features an early uncredited appearance by Peggy Ann Garner, best known for playing Francie in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945).

production details
USA | RKO | 110 minutes | 1940

Director: John Cromwell
Producer: Max Gordon
Cinematography: James Wong Howe
Editor: George Hively
Music: Roy Webb
Script: Grover Jones, Robert E. Sherwood

Raymond Massey as Abe Lincoln
Gene Lockhart as Stephen Douglas
Ruth Gordon as Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Howard as Ann Rutledge
Minor Watson as Joshua Speed
Alan Baxter as Billy Herndon
Harvey Stephens as Ninian Edwards
Howard Da Silva as Jack Armstrong
Dorothy Tree as Elizabeth Edwards
Aldrich Bowker as Judge Bowling Green
Louis Jean Heydt as Mentor Graham
Clem Bevans as Ben Mattling
Harlan Briggs as Denton Offut
Herbert Rudley as Seth Gale
Andy Clyde as Stage Driver
Roger Imhof as Mr. Crimmin
Edmund Elton as Mr. Rutledge
Leona Roberts as Mrs. Rutledge
Florence Roberts as Mrs. Bowling Green
George Rosener as Dr. Chandler
Trevor Bardette as John Hanks
Syd Saylor as John Johnston
Elisabeth Risdon as Sarah Lincoln
Charles Middleton as Tom Lincoln
Alec Craig as Trum Cogdall
Erville Alderson as Stonewall Jackson
Maurice Murphy as John McNeil
Ted Billings as Onlooker at Debate
Henry Blair as Tad Lincoln
Ed Brady as Raft Steerer
Sonny Bupp as Willie Lincoln
George Chandler as Minor Role
Tom Chatterton as Minor Role
Noble Chissell as Minor Role
Dan Clark as Minor Role
Wallis Clark as Politician
Jane Corcoran as Woman on Street
John Cromwell as John Brown
Cecil Cunningham as Undetermined Supporting Role
Esther Dale as Lincoln’s Cook
Dick Elliott as Politician
Robert Elliott as Minor Role
Fern Emmett as Minor Role
Paul Everton as Minor Role
Edward Fielding as Minor Role
Byron Foulger as Politician
Peggy Ann Garner as Little Girl
Gus Glassmire as Minor Role
Adda Gleason as Maid
Jesse Graves as Onlooker at Debate
George Guhl as Greeley’s Secretary
Paul Guilfoyle as Minor Role
C. Hayes as Minor Role
Fay Helm as Mrs. Seth Gale
Dell Henderson as Minor Role
Harry Humphries as Daniel Webster
George Irving as Colonel Robert E. Lee
Selmer Jackson as Aide to Stephen Douglas
Milton Kibbee as Abe’s Friend
Victor Kilian as Minor Role
Robert Middlemass as Minor Role
Edwin Mills as Robert Lincoln
Emory Parnell as Minor Role
Kathleen Proctor as Woman on Street
Lorin Raker as Minor Role
William Royle as Minor Role
Florence Rutledge as Minor Role
Kathryn Sheldon as Minor Role
Napoleon Simpson as Gobey
John St. Polis as Minor Role
Landers Stevens as Minor Role
Guy Usher as Douglas’s Crony
Edward Van Sloan as Dr. Barrett
Bryant Washburn as Minor Role
Dorothea Wolbert as Woman in Store
Ian Wolfe as Horace Greeley
William Worthington as Minor Role

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