This week’s repertory pick is John Ford’s classic American myth Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), which screens Saturday at 8 PM at Bank of America Cinema, 4901 W. Irving Park. Tickets are $5, and parking is free in the Bank of America lot, which is where the theater entrance is squirreled away (turn south on Lavergne, then east into the lot).
Nowadays, when most teenagers can’t tell you when the Civil War was fought, a filmmaker can expect to get rapped hard for fictionalizing any aspect of history. (Oliver Stone, this means you!) But back in Ford’s day—perhaps because more Americans could be trusted to tell fact from fancy—there was a little more tolerance for fond invention. Young Mr. Lincoln may not be too accurate as a lesson in American history, but it’s such a moving expression of Lincoln’s memory that it’s become history itself.
Here’s a clip from the movie, centering on young Abe Lincoln’s ill-fated romance with Ann Rutledge. The lovely score is by Alfred Newman.