Marking the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln this past week,
brought to mind some of the actors who have portrayed the great
president over the years. I would venture to say that everyone's
favorite is most likely Henry Fonda in John Ford's 1939 Young
Mr. Lincoln. Fonda does a wonderful job as the shy, contemplative
and clever young Lincoln.
Then there's Raymond Massey, in Abe Lincoln in Illinois. There was
a great public outcry when this Canadian was chosen to play the great
American president, but scored high reviews on Broadway and later
in 1940 for the film version of Robert E. Sherwood's play. I don't
know about you, but Massey has a scary quality about him and I just
can't shake the image of Johnathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace.
And talking about scary qualities, John Carradine also played Lincoln
in the 1938 film Of Human Hearts. I guess you could say that he has
that Lincolnesque thing going on, but I always see him more as
Dracula. A blood sucking Lincoln just isn't right.
Did you hear that Steven Speilberg is working on a new film titled
Lincoln coming out in 2011, starring Liam Neeson as Abraham
Lincoln? I adore Neeson and I'm sure he will be fabulous in the
role, but my first choice would have been the magnificent Daniel
Day-Lewis. He most definitely has that "Lincoln thing" and I'm
convinced, after seeing him hauntingly take on the person of the
roles he has portrayed in other films, he would become Lincoln.