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MoMA

FILM SCREENINGS

<i>When Lincoln Paid</i>. 1913. USA. Directed by Francis Ford
  • Abraham Lincoln

    1930. USA. D. W. Griffith. 93 min.

  • When Lincoln Paid

    1913. USA. Francis Ford. Approx. 25 min.

Sunday, October 28, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2



  • Abraham Lincoln

    1930. USA. Directed by D. W. Griffith. Adaptation by Stephen Vincent Benet. With Walter Huston, Kay Hammond, Una Merkel, Henry B. Walthall. “Griffith’s career was all-too-briefly resuscitated by this, his penultimate film and first talkie. Returning to the Civil War fifteen years after The Birth of a Nation, Griffith’s loving portrait of Lincoln, as embodied by Huston, reveals all kinds of poignant resonances between the lives of the director and his subject. After one more film, and Griffith's enforced retirement, they both would ‘belong to the Ages.’ There is an awkwardness about [the film], and not just due to Griffith’s struggles with unfamiliar and primitive sound equipment. (This is not helped by the fact that Abraham Lincoln came to be restored after some of the original soundtrack was irretrievably lost.) Much of Lincoln looks like vintage Griffith: its historical tableaux; its recreation of such highlights from The Birth of a Nation as the departure of the Confederate soldiers and Lincoln’s assassination; Henry B. Walthall doing a cameo reprise of his ‘Little Colonel.’….However, there are some fine battle scenes in Abraham Lincoln. The post–Bull Run montage and the ‘Battle Cry of Freedom’ sequence are rousing, and they suggest Griffith’s command of the new medium” (Charles Silver). Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from the Lillian Gish Trust for Film Preservation and The Film Foundation. 93 min.

  • When Lincoln Paid

    1913. USA. Directed by Francis Ford. Screenplay by William Clifford. With Ford, Jack Conway, Ethel Grandin, Charles Edler. Between 1912 and 1915, Francis Ford, brother and mentor of the quintessentially American filmmaker John Ford, played Abraham Lincoln no fewer than seven times. Sadly, this is the only example known to survive. Preserved by George Eastman House, Rochester, with support from the National Film Preservation Fund, When Lincoln Paid re-enacts Lincoln’s famous encounter with the mother of a dead Confederate soldier who pleaded for her son’s presidential pardon. “There is nothing I like better than to play Lincoln,” Ford would fondly recall. “I have a big library devoted to this great man, and I have studied every phase of his remarkable character, and when I am acting the part, I can feel the man as I judge him.” Evincing his own fascination with the Great Emancipator, John Ford would direct Henry Fonda in Young Abe Lincoln in 1939. Silent; without piano accompaniment. Preserved by Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire, with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation. Print courtesy of George Eastman House, Rochester. Approx. 25 min.