Cinema: The New Pictures: Feb. 5, 1940

Abe Lincoln In Illinois (RKO) falters through the Great Emancipator's frontier youth, does not hit its solemn stride until long-legged, melancholy Lawyer Lincoln stalks in to meet tightlipped, go-getting Mary Todd. From then on, it is dedicated to the proposition that its doom-ridden hero was nagged into greatness by an ambitious wife.

Main problem of this picture, which Robert Sherwood scripted from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, is the same as the play's: how to create a tragic mood when almost nothing tragic happens. As in the play, Scripter Sherwood tries to turn the trick...

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