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Edison, the Man (1940)

Passed | | Biography, Drama | 10 May 1940 (USA)
82 year old inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison is honored in 1929 and he reflects back on his sixty year career of scientific achievement.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rita Johnson ...
Lynne Overman ...
Bunt Cavatt
...
General Powell
...
Mr. Taggart
...
Ben Els
Felix Bressart ...
Michael Simon
Peter Godfrey ...
Ashton
Guy D'Ennery ...
Lundstrom
Byron Foulger ...
Edwin Hall
Milton Parsons ...
'Acid' Graham
Arthur Aylesworth ...
Bigelow
Gene Reynolds ...
Jimmy Price
Addison Richards ...
Mr. Johnson
...
Snade
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Storyline

Hoored at a banquet for his sixty year career as an inventor, scientist, and businessman, 89 year old Thomas Alva Edison reflects back on his long career, which includes such achievements as the stock market ticker, the phonograph, the light bulb, and the motion picture. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

10 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Edison, el hombre  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The World Premiere for this film in Thomas A. Edison's hometown of West Orange, New Jersey, serves as the backdrop for the mystery novel "Dead at the Box Office" by John Dandola. The novel explains in great detail how M.G.M. went about planning and carrying out the festivities. See more »

Goofs

The montage sequence depicting Edison's inventions lists "electric power transmission" over a shot of a massive transmission line and the tower that holds it up. That technology was actually developed not by Thomas A. Edison but by Nikola Tesla. (Tesla held over 700 patents, including Radio. Guglielmo Marconi stole the radio patent from Tesla. The US Patent office has since revoked Marconi's claim, giving it to Tesla.) Edison insisted on powering his lights with direct current, which could only travel short distances from the generators that produced it. Tesla used alternating current, which could be run through transformers to increase its voltage so it could be moved over long distances, then reduced in voltage again for home use. Tesla's alternating current, not Edison's direct current, quickly became the standard and is what we use today. See more »

Quotes

Thomas A. Edison: [after the latest attempt to find a filament that will work in the electric light] Well, we failed again. That's the net result of nine thousand experiments.
Michael Simon: Too bad, Tom. We know the work you have done. We are as sorry as you are that you didn't get results.
Thomas A. Edison: Results? Man, I got a lot of results. I know nine thousand things now that won't work.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits appear as 19th Century sampler embroideries. See more »

Connections

Remade as General Electric Theater: Edison the Man (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Meeting in the Rain
(uncredited)
Music by David Snell and Herbert Stothart
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User Reviews

 
Nice Story About A Incredible Inventor
2 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You don't see these kind of old-fashioned biographies anymore. There have been very few in the last 40 years. Yes, many of the classic biographies sugar-coated the stories, ignoring a person's negative traits, but today's films mostly do the opposite, so it's nice to re-visit a movie in which an American hero is shown as just that. One gets tired of all the trashing.

Thomas Alva Edison certainly was a hero with his incredible inventions (i.e., the light bulb) which affected almost everyone on the planet to a significant degree. This movie goes to great lengths to show Edison's persistence in reaching his goals while also highlighting the dedication of the men who worked for him.

Spencer Tracy as Edison, along with Rita Johnson, Lynne Overman, Charles Coburn, Gene Lockhart, Henry Travers and Felix Bressart make this a pretty solid movie. It's not spectacular, probably not worth more than one look, maybe two, but it's a story that should be seen about an amazing period in history.


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