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 ...
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Against all odds Father Flanagan starts "Boys' Town" after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh comes there. He runs away but, hungry, returns. He runs away again but, when friend Pee ... See full summary »
Mr. and Mrs. Maitland invite Whitey to their home on a trial basis. Whitey tries to visit a friend in reform school and inmate Flip is hiding in car as Whitey leaves. Flip steals money and ... See full summary »
In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »
Edna marries Texan Sam Gladney, operator of a wheat mill. Edna discovers by chance how the law treats children who are without parents and decides to do something about it. She opens a home... See full summary »
When American newspaperman and adventurer Henry M. Stanley comes back from the western Indian wars, his editor James Gordon Bennett sends him to Africa to find Dr. David Livingstone, the ... See full summary »
In this family saga, Mrs. Parkington recounts the story of her life, beginning as a hotel maid in frontier Nevada where she is swept off her feet by mine owner and financier Augustus ... See full summary »
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 »
MGM opens the first film in the studio's Edison biography project by promising, "This is a story of courage. The courage and triumph of a typical American boy. In all its essential facts, it is a true story. The boy actually did experience the adventures - the joys and sorrows portrayed here. His name might have been John Jones or Bill Smith. It happened to be Thomas A. Edison."
Mickey Rooney plays "Young Tom Edison", and the movie ends with a cameo appearance by Spencer Tracy, star of "Edison, the Man" (released shortly). They weren't much like Thomas Edison or each other, but Mr. Rooney and Mr. Tracy were the #1 and #2 "Box Office" stars of 1940, according to Quigley Publications - so, these films were both very well-produced.
"Young Tom Edison" focuses on the Edison family (who disappear for the Tracy film): likewise precocious little sister Virginia Weidler (as Tannie), misunderstanding father George Bancroft (as Sam), and mysteriously ailing mother Fay Bainter (as Nancy). Rooney's adversary is "Dead End Kid" Bobby Jordan (as Joseph "Joe" Dingle), who gets repeatedly gets kicked in the shins.
In the strangest scene, Ms. Bainter pretends to take over the beating of her sixteen-year-old son while his proud father listens to Rooney's painful cries. Later, gravel-voiced train conductor Eugene Palette (as Nelson) smacks Rooney so hard he develops an earache. Doctor Lloyd Corrigan says, "Sometimes there's nothing like a good box in the ears to sharpen a boy's senses."
Edison subsequently suffered from deafness.
***** Young Tom Edison (2/10/40) Norman Taurog ~ Mickey Rooney, Virginia Weidler, Fay Bainter, George Bancroft
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