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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Fay Bainter ...
Mrs. Samuel 'Nancy' Edison
...
...
...
Mr. Nelson
Victor Kilian ...
Mr. Dingle
Bobby Jordan ...
Joe 'Joey' Dingle (as Bobbie Jordan)
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Mr. McCarney
Lloyd Corrigan ...
Dr. Pender
John Kellogg ...
...
Mr. Waddell
Eily Malyon ...
Miss Lavina Howard, School Teacher
Harry Shannon ...
Army Captain Brackett
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Storyline

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 <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der junge Edison  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 23, 1940 with Mickey Rooney and Virginia Weidler reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Samuel 'Sam' Edison: [Standing with family and watching Tom's train depart] Once he was known as Sam Edison's son. But now I'm Tom Edison's father, and I don't mind.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Soundtracks

Jingle bells
Written by James Pierpont (as J.S. Pierpont) (1857)
Played as part of the score at Christmas
See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful
7 June 2012 | by (advicetothelovelorn.blogspot.com) – See all my reviews

Captivating Americana based on the boyhood of the famed inventor, played here by Mickey Rooney, who is kicked out of school for his intense inquisitiveness - and his habit of staring out the window, and that big explosion - is branded "addle-pated" by the townsfolk, but ultimately comes good. Rooney's stock persona was as a brash, cartoonish know-it- all who gets a lesson in humility (at which point he starts crying and saying sorry), but his best performances came when he was asked to calm down and actually act, doing extraordinary work in The Human Comedy and National Velvet. He's superb here - using slightly broader strokes than in those seminal later performances - and surrounded by a cast of top character actors, including Virginia Weidler as his affectionate sister, Fay Bainter as his protective mother and George Bancroft as a stern patriarch with impressive sideburns but an unfortunate propensity to ignore his son's protestations of innocence. It's a wonderfully-mounted production, with a literate script that mixes things that actually happened, things you wish had happened and MGM staples like the family sing-along. And it climaxes with two extraordinary, unbearably tense suspense sequences. If you're a cynic, just don't bother. For everyone else, this is a rosy primer on Edison's early years and a poignant, exciting and flavourful example of MGM at its absolute best.


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