Nice cinematography and visual composition, but I disliked everything else about this cheezy piece of entertainment. As usual for Griffith, the only speaking role for a black man is played by a white guy painted in shoe polish.
Griffith made his first talking picture with this meandering, unemotional and somewhat boring take on Lincoln. The director's fortune had faded by this point in his career and this film did him no favours in getting his reputation back. Even the visual flourishes he was known for were missing in this misfire. Griffith will always stand the test of time for his silent work but this talkie is best left forgotten.
Mostly stodgy biopic of Abraham Lincoln depicts the 16th president's life through a series of episodes that amount to a sort of "greatest hits" reel. Respectful but melodramatic, and even more interesting coming from D.W. Griffith, who had directed the unashamedly pro-Confederacy BIRTH OF A NATION just 15 years prior. One of Griffith's last films, it's a tired, ill conceived last gasp of one of cinema's great masters
It's hard to be objective about D.W. Griffith. Seeing the slaves in the first scene did not bode well for the rest of the movie. And the music was supposed to be 'Go down Moses'? They tried to show 'Birth of a Nation' at my college, but it was shouted down. Which was fine for me, because I just don't have any interest in that crap anyway. I mean, why go out of your way to make people angry?
One of the most illustrious and important films of all time. D.W. Griffith, undisputed master of the silent film leaves his mark on the 'talkie', further adding to his monumental contributions to cinema. Huston's performance remains as the finest by an American actor, adding to the genuine and timeless humour injected within this most sincere and heartfelt tribute to one of the greatest men to grace this Earth.
A warm, touching tribute of deep reverence towards Lincoln: the man, the myth and the legend, Griffith’s vision of earnestness is not to be undermined by petty frothing PC fascists of today. Any rustic idiosyncrasies only add to its sacramental charm and Huston's performance is simply dignity personified all the way to the grave. Accept no substitutes for this biopic. THE UNION MUST BE PRESERVED.
Griffith's first talkie is up front with how it's inexperience with overacting and lackluster dialogue. What is more apparent is the reason no one else has made a biopic featuring all of Lincoln's life. While it is shot rather well, it finds a way to drag on at only 90 minutes.