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The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  14 April 1939 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 617 users  
Reviews: 17 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Mrs. Hubbard
...
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:

America's most thrilling story! (poster). See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 April 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Kelly's film debut. See more »

Goofs

One of the stories in the movie, that is set in 1873, is that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone "in his youth". But the first telephone was invented by Antonio Meucci in 1860 and Johann Philipp Reis in 1861, who also called his device "telephone", not Bell as it's stated in the movie. Bell didn't invented THE telephone but A telephone, the Bell-telephone. See more »

Quotes

Alexander Graham Bell: Your honor... Have I committed some offense by starving in an attic? by spending sleepless nights at my work? by being too poor to own a decent scrap of paper, on which to tell her of my love? I have sat here for days and heard myself called liar, thief, fraud and cheat. I've seen my friends humiliated, my invention belittled, just as I have seen my business destroyed by methods which must leave every honest man appalled.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Voyagers!: Barriers of Sound (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Noel
Traditional 17th century hymn
Sung a cappella by unidentified carollers on Christmas Eve
See more »

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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.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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