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Kino Brings D.W. Griffith's 'Abraham Lincoln,' Starring Walter Huston, to Blu-Ray

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 7, 2012 at 2:46PM

Honest Abe's surge in popularity continues with Kino Classics' release of D.W. Griffith's "Abraham Lincoln" on Blu-ray (November 13), starring Walter Huston (father of John, grandfather of Anjelica) as the 16th president.
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A detail from the film poster of "Abraham Lincoln"
A detail from the film poster of "Abraham Lincoln"

Honest Abe's surge in popularity continues with Kino Classics' release of D.W. Griffith's "Abraham Lincoln" on Blu-ray (November 13), starring Walter Huston (father of John, grandfather of Anjelica) as the 16th president.

The Blu-ray has been mastered in HD from a 35mm restoration by the Museum of Modern Art. The disc includes a special introduction that was originally taped for the 1930 re-release of "Birth of a Nation," featuring a conversation between Griffith and Huston. (That the Lincoln-oriented intro would have appeared along with Griffith's "Birth of a Nation," which notoriously depicts Ku Klux Klansmen as heroes and African-Americans as crazed criminals, is brazenly strange and ironic.)

"Abraham Lincoln" was Griffith's first talkie, and on its release in 1930, the sound era had only been in swing for a few years. The Kino edition of the film is the most complete available, with approximately three minutes of footage missing from other DVD versions.

Check out a clip from "Abraham Lincoln" below. Huston's physical resemblance to the president, much like Daniel Day-Lewis' in Spielberg's upcoming "Lincoln," is striking.

This article is related to: News, Blu-ray, Kino, Classics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.