Arnold Boult is determined to make his son a success at all costs. He commits arson, causes two suicides, and bribes people. His wife, unable to leave him, becomes alcoholic and dies. His ... See full summary »
Arnold Boult is determined to make his son a success at all costs. He commits arson, causes two suicides, and bribes people. His wife, unable to leave him, becomes alcoholic and dies. His son is killed. After doing time in prison he searches for his illegitimate grandson. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
When it was originally presented on the London stage, Robert Morley starred and wrote Edward My Son and I believe he had Lord Beaverbrook in mind. If that is the case Edward My Son was as daring in its way as Sweet Smell of Success was in America taking dead aim at Walter Winchell.
Lord Beaverbrook for those on this side of the Atlantic was a Canadian industrialist Max Aitken who settled in the UK and purchased a string of tabloid like newspapers. He was a very powerful force in the post World War I United Kingdom and served in the War Cabinet of Winston Churchill. He was every bit as cunning and as ruthless as we Sir Arnold Boult made out to be.
And to accommodate Spencer Tracy's North American speech, Sir Arnold is made Canadian. That was making it more daring. Beaverbrook was not a man to cross.
We never see Edward at any time in the film, the picture we form of him is through the eyes of the other characters. A kid spoiled rotten by his ever indulgent father. Boult, ruthless in business and finance, is just as ruthless at getting whatever for his son, giving him everything but a decent set of values to live by.
Tracy's portrayal rings true for me because I actually knew someone like Arnold Boult in my life. He was a political person who spoiled his son absolutely rotten, used up favor after favor for him. When the son developed a drug problem he never tried to deal with it, but actually schemed to give him jobs he couldn't handle. I look at Tracy as Sir Arnold Boult and see this man staring right back at me.
Deborah Kerr is Tracy's wife and Edward's mother and Leueen McGrath is his secretary and mistress. They are the major female roles in Edward My Son and both are captured well. Others to look for in the cast are Felix Aylmer as the prep schoolmaster, Mervyn Johns as Tracy's tragic former business partner, and Ian Hunter as Tracy's friend and eventual second husband to Kerr.
Look at Tracy's methods in dealing with his personal and professional life and it's small wonder Edward turned out to be the spoiled brat he was.
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