The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln with two movies on the big screen on consecutive Wednesdays in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater of the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The movies will begin at 6:30 p.m. and are free. The public is invited to attend.
On Feb. 4, Young Mr. Lincoln (1939, 100 minutes, Not Rated) will be shown. The film stars a youthful Henry Fonda, who had to be convinced by director John Ford to take the role because Fonda wasn’t comfortable playing such a great man. The movie is a fictionalized biography about the early life of Lincoln, his courtship of an early sweetheart, Ann Rutledge, and his early law career. Ward Bond, one of Hollywood’s great character actors, also appears in the film. In 2003, Young Mr. Lincoln was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.
Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940, 110 minutes, Not Rated) will be featured on Wednesday, Feb. 11. The film is a biographical film which tells the story of Lincoln from the period of his early years as a Kentucky woodsman until his election to the Presidency in 1860. It covers his early career, marriage to the ambitious and determined Mary Todd and his debates with Stephen Douglas. The Canadian actor Raymond Massey played Lincoln, reprising his role in the stage production of the same name. Massey was nominated for an Oscar for the film. The movie also stars Gene Lockhart as Douglas and Ruth Gordon as Mary Todd Lincoln.
For more information about the Lincoln bicentennial film series, contact Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner of the Division, at (304) 558-0220.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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