A few words about…™Young Mr. Lincoln — in Blu-ray

A magnificent Blu-ray, with (typically) a ton of extras. 4 Stars

Cinematographer Bert Glennon’s work, shines through in Criterion’s most recent release via their agreement with Fox.

John Ford’s 1939 black & white production, with Henry Fonda in the lead, not only stands the test of time, but does it beautifully, thanks to a 35mm nitrate print, held by MOMA, which was used as the basis of the new work.

The fact that a print was the base source, holds out hope for other films that may no longer survive with prime original elements.

A magnificent Blu-ray, with (typically) a ton of extras.

More Ford on Blu-ray, please…

Image – 4.75

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Yes

Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,contributor

27 Comments

  1. WTF is wrong with Amazon lately? When I preordered 'Young Mr. Lincoln' I got the typical "want it release date then pick free 2-day shipping" offer. That's what I picked (as always). This afternoon I get an email from Amazon telling me the title won't be delivered until the 15th or 16th. Release date is tomorrow (9th). WTF?

    I chatted with an Amazon rep and they upgraded the shipping to overnight for free. But she said the earliest it will arrive is Friday.

    Is there some distributor strike or something? WTF is going on?

    Mark

    1. I’ve found Barnes & Noble (bn.com) to be a pretty good alternative to Amazon for certain releases. As an example, they had the recent Arrow special edition blu-ray of “The Apartment” after Amazon had sold out, and for a few bucks less.

  2. Mark Booth

    WTF is wrong with Amazon lately? When I preordered 'Young Mr. Lincoln' I got the typical "want it release date then pick free 2-day shipping" offer. That's what I picked (as always). This afternoon I get an email from Amazon telling me the title won't be delivered until the 15th or 16th. Release date is tomorrow (9th). WTF?

    I chatted with an Amazon rep and they upgraded the shipping to overnight for free. But she said the earliest it will arrive is Friday.

    Is there some distributor strike or something? WTF is going on?

    Mark

    Another HTF member posted in a different topic that an Amazon rep informed him that the 2 day shipping merely means that the order will be delivered within 2 days from when it is shipped, without any guarantees regarding when the shipping will take place. In my opinion, this move is rather cheesy on Amazon's part, but there you have it!

    CHEERS! 🙂

  3. Mark Booth

    WTF is wrong with Amazon lately? When I preordered 'Young Mr. Lincoln' I got the typical "want it release date then pick free 2-day shipping" offer. That's what I picked (as always). This afternoon I get an email from Amazon telling me the title won't be delivered until the 15th or 16th. Release date is tomorrow (9th). WTF?

    I chatted with an Amazon rep and they upgraded the shipping to overnight for free. But she said the earliest it will arrive is Friday.

    Is there some distributor strike or something? WTF is going on?

    Mark

    I'm a Prime member and my November 27th order shipped today with delivery on Wednesday. My "waiting to be viewed" pile is so huge, I don't mind waiting an extra day.

  4. Tony Bensley

    Another HTF member posted in a different topic that an Amazon rep informed him that the 2 day shipping merely means that the order will be delivered within 2 days from when it is shipped, without any guarantees regarding when the shipping will take place. In my opinion, this move is rather cheesy on Amazon's part, but there you have it!

    CHEERS! 🙂

    Here is a screen grab of Amazon's webpage for the forthcoming 4K version of Blade Runner 2049. I've placed a red box around the area of interest:

    [​IMG]

    That's EXACTLY what it said in that area when I placed my order for 'Young Mr. Lincoln'. Yes, I wanted to receive it the day it came out. Amazon didn't meet that guarantee and it needs to stop advertising it if they aren't going to followthrough. Or, provide restitution to the customer for not meeting the guarantee.

    Mark

  5. I got a message today that mine will not arrive until Friday. Since I have plenty of free time this weekend, except for that 3:40 Sunday playoff game, I should be ok, but I agree, don’t say it will be there on day of release when it can’t happen.

  6. Mike Frezon

    I've had a lot of problems with Amazon on this very issue.

    They insist they NEVER guarantee release day delivery.

    Yet, there it is.

    Any of you guys ever receive the following email from Amazon:

    Hello,

    We have good news! One of your pre-ordered items is now eligible for release date delivery and has been upgraded at no additional charge. Your new delivery estimate is:

    "The Hanging Tree (1959) [Blu-ray]"

    Estimated arrival date: January 23, 2018

    Please visit Your Account (http://www.amazon.com/youraccount?ref=fxm_em_4_0) for the most up-to-date delivery information about this order. If there are other items in your order, they'll be shipped according to the delivery estimates listed in the order details in Your Account at no additional cost.

    Sincerely,
    Customer Service Department

  7. Josh Steinberg

    Not for that specific title, but yes, I've gotten a ton of those emails over the years. And then they still fail at delivering on time.

    If it bothers you then go back for some kind of credit from them and insist on speaking to an American customer service person.

  8. Robert Crawford

    If it bothers you then go back for some kind of credit from them and insist on speaking to an American customer service person.

    I often do get a credit – I think I have a free year of prime for all of the extensions they've given.

    The issue is that they always insist that it's a one time mistake on their part, and that it won't happen again – and then it happens again. Five years ago, this would never happen.

    Now, it's the first full week in January, first street date, and they've missed my first "Guaranteed delivery date" and "release date delivery" promise for my first scheduled shipment of 2018.

    It's just a bummer that they've gotten so unreliable but are so big that there's no consequence possible to them. Ultimately, I don't want another credit. I want delivery dates promised to be honored.

  9. Top of my list for the next B&N Criterion sale, for sure.

    I read a study somewhere investigating the effective resolution of 35mm film at various points from original camera negative to release prints. For the release prints, I believe they looked at prints of the same footage in Orlando, LA, NYC, Montreal, Paris and Milan. IIRC, the print at the highest performing theater had a horizontal resolution of 875 line pairs (approximately 1750×945). While that's not 2K or even 1080p, it's still well above 480i and benefits from the resolution and bitrate of Blu-Ray. We'll probably never see a UHD 4k release of Young Mr. Lincoln, but that's okay.

  10. I bought this thinking it was a movie I had previously seen as a child (my 4th grade teacher loved to show us movies from this period about historical figures, and I definitely remember seeing Young Thomas Edison and Edison, The Man among others), but in looking over the Blu-ray package that just arrived, I may not have actually seen this. Which is a welcome surprise, anytime you can get a John Ford-Henry Fonda collaboration that plays as a brand new experience is something worth savoring.

    At the very least, I figure this disc will be representative of what an original print looked like back in the day, if not what the original negative was like. Since the filmmakers then knew what was on the print is what counted (and even were able to hide things by taking advantage of the generational loss from negative to prints), then I don't think I'll have any issues with how the disc looks. I'm always up for a gorgeous 35mm print!

  11. Screengrabs : http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Young-Mr-Lincoln-Blu-ray/191182/#Screenshots

    Criterion did a very good job, considering they had a print to work with. If the print was a year or two younger, when finer grain print stocks was intorduced…

    [​IMG]

    But if this was a original print and had the righ photography wished by the director, I ask myself if the tendency of this and many HD transfer, to pull a bit from shadows, trying to recover details hidden there, is unquestionable the right decision.

    [​IMG]

    Despite the Criterion informs a lot about the restoration sources… :

    "This new digital restoration was undertaken by Twentieth Century Fox and the Criterion Collection, primarily from a 4K scan of an original 35mm nitrate print. In addition, a safety 35mm fine-grain was used for sections of the film where the print was damaged or missing footage. The nitrate print, held by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, was scanned on an Oxberry wet-gate film scanner at Cineric in New York. The fine-grain was scanned on a Lasergraphics film scanner at Roundabout in Burbank, California. The original monaural soundtrack was mastered at 24-bit from the 35mm magnetic tracks. Clicks, thumps, hiss, hum, and crackle were manually removed using Pro Tools HD and iZotope RX."

    Despite that, Criterion Forum (fans made forum) keeps the habit of call everything from film elements as negatives. No matter if it's a positive, they call negative.

    http://www.criterionforum.org/DVD-review/young-mr-lincoln-blu-ray/the-criterion-collection/1918

    " The restoration was primarily sourced from a new scan of the 35mm nitrate negatives, with a 35mm safety fine-grain to fill in any missing scenes or sequences too badly damaged on the negative. The notes state this restoration was undertaken by both 20th Century Fox and Criterion."

  12. Picked up a copy of this one at my local Barnes & Noble last week as part of the current Criterion 50 percent off sale. Watched it tonight in celebration of the Fourth of July, since I don't think I'm going to have the time to revisit 1776 this year. The fact that the bulk of the movie takes place on the Fourth of July and the days immediately following it were just a bonus.

    This reminded me of last year's Darkest Hour, in that the whole film is built as a showcase of its central performance. All of the supporting characters feel dated, but when Henry Fonda's on screen at young Lincoln, it's pure magic. Like Daniel Day-Lewis, he subverts our expectations for a grand historical titan. His Lincoln is folksy, wily, and occasionally vulgar.

    When you figure that Triumph of the Will came out four years earlier, and Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky the year before, this feels like John Ford's democratic, individualistic answer.

  13. Johnny Angell

    How historically accurate is this movie?

    Not very. The big reveal of the court case was taken from a real case won by Lincoln as a practicing lawyer, but the rest of the participants in the case are fictional. This is more like like the folk story version of Lincoln's early professional life than a historical recounting striving for accuracy.

    My memory of it is that Fonda’s Lincoln was almost wearing wings, he was to pure.

    The movie reveres him, but it doesn't scrub him down and put him in shrink wrap.

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