Composed of serio-comic scenes from small town life, heavy with a future perfect sense of Myth-in-the-making, it's driven by tensions between insignificance and monumentality that explode in the histrionic splendour and excess of the celebrated final sequence: Abe Lincoln setting out to scale unseen heights against the portentous gloom of a gathering storm.
Nick SchagerThe A.V. Club
Exuding nobility, modesty, and down-home wit, Henry Fonda assumes the iconic top hat as America’s 16th president in Young Mr. Lincoln. Far from a traditional decades-spanning biopic, John Ford’s drama instead provides a snapshot of a moment in Lincoln’s life.
Pauline KaelThe New Yorker
One of John Ford's most memorable films, and not at all the tedious bummer that the title might suggest. Henry Fonda, in one of his best early performances, is funny and poignant as the drawling, awkward young hero.
A rose-tinted look at American history, certainly, but still a very entertaining one.