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Reconstructing American Historical CinemaFrom Cimarron to Citizen Kane$
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J.E. Smyth

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124063

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124063.001.0001

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The Lives and Deaths of Abraham Lincoln, 1930–1941

The Lives and Deaths of Abraham Lincoln, 1930–1941

(p.166) (p.167) 6 The Lives and Deaths of Abraham Lincoln, 1930–1941
Reconstructing American Historical Cinema

J.E. Smyth

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines historical films produced in Hollywood about the life and death of American president Abraham Lincoln made during the period from 1930 to 1941. During this period, Lincoln's presence sanctified whatever theme or subject the historian chose and he generously supported whatever period film a studio happened to create. Lincoln lent authenticity to insignificant scripts, healed any divisive tale of the Civil War and he was a prestigious touch added to secure that elusive critical and box-office appeal. Examples of these films include D.W. Griffith's Abraham Lincoln, Darryl Zanuck and Nunnally Johnson's The Prisoner of Shark Island, and John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln.

Keywords:   historical film, U.S., Abraham Lincoln, The Prisoner of Shark Island, D.W. Griffith, Darryl Zanuck, Nunnally Johnson, Young Mr. Lincoln, John Ford

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