IMDb > Young Tom Edison (1940)
Young Tom Edison
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Young Tom Edison (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Bradbury Foote (original screenplay) &
Dore Schary (original screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Young Tom Edison on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 March 1940 (USA) See more »
Inventor Thomas Edison's boyhood is chronicled and shows him as a lad whose early inventions and scientific... See more » | Add synopsis »
(4 articles)
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User Reviews:
"You're not only addled, you're tetched." See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Mickey Rooney ... Thomas Alva 'Tom' Edison

Fay Bainter ... Mrs. Samuel 'Nancy' Edison

George Bancroft ... Samuel 'Sam' Edison

Virginia Weidler ... Tannie Edison

Eugene Pallette ... 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 ... Bill Edison

Clem Bevans ... Mr. Waddell

Eily Malyon ... Miss Lavina Howard, School Teacher

Harry Shannon ... Army Captain Brackett
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ernie Adams ... Passenger Buying Maple Sugar (uncredited)
Maude Allen ... Woman Fainting at Downed Bridge (uncredited)
Jessie Arnold ... Woman at Station (uncredited)
Polly Bailey ... Woman at Station (uncredited)
Sherwood Bailey ... Red, Joe's Friend (uncredited)
Jack Baxley ... Man at Dingle's Store (uncredited)
John Beck ... Bartender (uncredited)
Arthur Belasco ... Telegrapher (uncredited)
Sammy Blum ... Train Passenger (uncredited)

Stanley Blystone ... Army Officer on Train (uncredited)

Wade Boteler ... Si Weaver (uncredited)
Eddy Chandler ... Mr. Briggs (uncredited)
Jack Daley ... Man at Station (uncredited)
Leigh De Lacey ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
John Webb Dillion ... Man at Station (uncredited)

Fern Emmett ... Mrs. McCarney (uncredited)
Budd Fine ... Train Passenger (uncredited)

Olin Howland ... Telegrapher (Indian Attack) (uncredited)
Philip Hurlic ... Black Boy at Tree (uncredited)

John Ince ... Man at Station (uncredited)

Mitchell Ingraham ... Man at Station (uncredited)

Milton Kibbee ... Baggage Man (uncredited)

Del Lawrence ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Mitchell Lewis ... McGuire - Train Engineer (uncredited)

George Magrill ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Wally Maher ... Man at Station (uncredited)

Claire McDowell ... Woman at Station (uncredited)

Frances Morris ... Woman at Station (uncredited)

Emory Parnell ... Bob (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Train Engineer Miller (uncredited)

Victor Potel ... Mr. Tompkins (uncredited)

Mickey Rentschler ... Johnny, Joe's Friend (uncredited)
Marion Sheldon ... Train Passenger (uncredited)

Buster Slaven ... Boy at Tree (uncredited)
Marvin Stephens ... Frank Allen (uncredited)

Harry Strang ... Army Officer (uncredited)

Forrest Taylor ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Al Thompson ... Man at Station (uncredited)

Spencer Tracy ... Man Admiring Portrait of Thomas A. Edison (uncredited)
Frank Whitbeck ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Joe Whitehead ... Mr. Hodge (uncredited)

Directed by
Norman Taurog 
Writing credits
Bradbury Foote (original screenplay) &
Dore Schary (original screenplay) and
Hugo Butler (original screenplay)

H. Alan Dunn (based on original material by)

Produced by
John W. Considine Jr. .... producer
Orville O. Dull .... associate producer
Original Music by
Edward Ward 
Cinematography by
Sidney Wagner (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Elmo Veron 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis 
Costume Design by
Gile Steele (costumes: men)
Dolly Tree (costumes: women)
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... makeup designer
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Ryan .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Harry McAfee .... associate art director
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Music Department
Wally Heglin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
H. Alan Dunn .... research material
Lewis Miller .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Jack Mintz .... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
86 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Finland:S | Sweden:Btl | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #5988) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

"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 »
Anachronisms: 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 »
Joe 'Joey' Dingle:You said you had some gas that'd make me fly. Show me.See more »
Sweet GenevieveSee more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
"You're not only addled, you're tetched.", 15 November 2014
Author: utgard14 from USA

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (13 total) »

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