Inventor Thomas Edison's boyhood is chronicled and shows him as a lad whose early inventions and scientific experiments usually end up causing disastrous results. As a result, the towns ... See full summary »
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Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
Inventor Thomas Edison's boyhood is chronicled and shows him as a lad whose early inventions and scientific experiments usually end up causing disastrous results. As a result, the towns folk all think Tom is crazy, and creating a strained relationship between Tom and his father. Toms only solace is his understanding mother who believes he's headed to do great things. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When young Tom jumps on the train to sell his maple candy, he tells the first customer the price is "a nickel". The scene takes place in the late 1850s. The first US nickel five cent coin wasn't issued until 1866. (At the time, the only 5¢ coin was a half-dime, a tiny silver coin but not called "a nickel".) See more »
After "The End" title page, a portrait of Tom Edison is displayed and, after some of the inventor's many accomplishments are noted, then the camera pans back to show Spencer Tracy admiring the painting while the narrator announces the forthcoming "Edison, The Man (1940)" biography (featuring Tracy in the title role). See more »
Mickey Rooney stars as the teenaged Thomas Edison in this wonderfully entertaining MGM biopic. The movie covers the young inventor's struggles to fit in with a town full of people who don't understand him. He makes mistakes but proves his worth and ultimately becomes a hero.
Rooney is his usual likable self. He tones his high energy down some and shows his dramatic skills. He really was a phenomenal star and a great actor. Superb supporting cast includes Fay Bainter and George Bancroft as Edison's parents, Virginia Weidler as his sister, and Eugene Palette as a railroad conductor. I really like the MGM sets and the 19th century American style. Lovely music, pleasant tone, and good cast. Script is a nice mix of humor, drama, and action.
This is the first of two MGM biopics of Edison released in 1940. The other is Edison, the Man starring Spencer Tracy. That movie covers Edison's adult years so it's like a sequel to this picture. Both are excellent. These old biopics were usually solid, uplifting character-driven stories. Yes they take liberties with the details but the more cynical defamatory biopics we get these days do the same. I'll take an inspirational biography that builds people up and leaves you with the warm fuzzies over some deconstructionist tabloid trash any day.
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