With all due respect to Henry Fonda, Walter Huston, and a myriad of other cinematic Lincolns, Raymond Massey is the Abe to end all Abes. His moving and mesmerizing performance gives us the real Mr. Lincoln in all his complexity. Alongside the warmth, compassion and humor for which we love and revere Mr. Lincoln, we see in Massey the dark side as well: the doubts, fears, indecision and deep melancholia with which Abraham Lincoln struggled his whole life. Ruth Gordon is superb as Lincoln's ambitious and rather overbearing wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. No hagiography, this movie lets us see the Lincolns as human beings with real "issues", rather than as mere heroes of history. Besides all this, we have Massey's physical resemblance to Lincoln, which is at times astonishing.
What's most amazing is that the spirit of the most quintessentially American of our American heroes should be so wonderfully captured and portrayed by ... a Canadian!