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The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 526 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 1 critic

Alexander Graham Bell falls in love with deaf girl Mabel Hubbard while teaching the deaf and trying to invent means for telegraphing the human voice. She urges him to put off thoughts of ... See full summary »

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(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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Thomas Sanders
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Mrs. Hubbard
Sally Blane ...
Gertrude Hubbard
Polly Ann Young ...
Grace Hubbard
Georgiana Young ...
Berta Hubbard
Bobs Watson ...
George Sanders
Russell Hicks ...
Mr. Barrows
Paul Stanton ...
Chauncey Smith
Jonathan Hale ...
President of Western Union
...
Judge Rider
Beryl Mercer ...
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Storyline

Alexander Graham Bell falls in love with deaf girl Mabel Hubbard while teaching the deaf and trying to invent means for telegraphing the human voice. She urges him to put off thoughts of marriage until his experiments are complete. He invents the telephone, marries and becomes rich and famous, though his happiness is threatened when a rival company sets out to ruin him. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Darryl F. Zanuck's Entertainment gem will take its place in the Hall of Fame !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 April 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Story of Alexander Graham Bell  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the film was released, the telephone was commonly called the "Ameche", a slang term referring to actor Don Ameche who played the telephone's inventor. This association is explained in the film Ball of Fire (1941), showing the term was still in use two years after the release of the original film. See more »

Goofs

Bell said, that he sent the first time a sound through a wire, in the 1870s. The actual first sound through a wire was made by Philipp Reis in 1862. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Hubbard: Mr. Watson, please eat something. You must have the appetite of a bird.
Thomas Watson: Yes, Ma'am, a vulture.
See more »


Soundtracks

The First Noel
Traditional 17th century hymn
Sung a cappella by unidentified carollers on Christmas Eve
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User Reviews

 
Pappa Bell
13 April 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This biopic about the invention of the telephone proved to be a surprise. Not having seen it, we took the chance and it proved to be a real charmer. Under the direction of Irving Cummings, we get to know a great deal, not only about the invention itself, but a little bit about the man.

Alexander Graham Bell was an ambitious man who was interested in helping a young deaf-mute boy, as the picture opens. We see him toiling at a prototype for the telegraph, and stumbling into the transmission of sound through wires, thus creating something that revolutionized society, business and the world at large. In retrospect, one can only imagine how could anyone survived without it! Thanks to Mr. Bell, his invention is something that benefited all of us.

Don Ameche makes an intense Alexander Graham Bell. He was a charming actor who never ceased to amaze us in all the movies he left behind. Loretta Young, makes a wonderful Mabel Hubbard, Mr. Bell's beloved wife who had to struggle with her own deafness. A young Henry Fonda is seen as Bell's loyal friend Thomas Watson.

The cast assembled for the film shows the best Hollywood could offer. Charles Coburn and Spring Byinton play the kind Hubbards. Gene Lockhart is also quite good as Thomas Sanders. Two of Loretta Young sisters Polly Ann and Georgiana play two of the Hubbard girls, as well as Sally Blane who is the fourth daughter.

This is a film that is instructive as well as fun to watch because of the subject matter and the cast that made the story come alive.


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