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The Magnificent Yankee (1950)

Biography of celebrated American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes.

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(book), (play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Owen Wister / Narrator
...
Edith Evanson ...
Annie Gough
...
Reynolds, Secretary
...
Clinton, Secretary (as James Lydon)
...
Baxter, Secretary (as Guy Anderson)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Minor Role (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Biography of celebrated American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 August 1951 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Nobre Rebelde  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 19, 1952 with Ann Harding and Louis Calhern reprising their film roles. See more »

Quotes

[referring to President Theodore Roosevelt]
Oliver Wendell Holmes: He said, among other things, that he could carve a judge with more backbone out of a banana.
Fanny Bowditch Holmes: [outraged] Well, the very idea!
Graham, reporter for Boston Transcript: Is there any statement, Mrs. Holmes, that you would make?
Fanny Bowditch Holmes: Yes, Mr. Graham, there is.
Oliver Wendell Holmes: Fanny...
Fanny Bowditch Holmes: You may say that we adore dear Mr. Roosevelt at all times -
Graham, reporter for Boston Transcript: Adore, Mrs. Holmes?
Fanny Bowditch Holmes: Yes, Mr. Graham, we adore everything about him... except his taste in bananas.
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Connections

Version of The Magnificent Yankee (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Nice vibes all around
19 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

The story of the making of this genteel biopic is almost as quietly heartwarming as the movie itself: Louis Calhern had been giving small, perfect performances for MGM for years. He went off to Broadway to do this stately biography of Oliver Wendell Holmes. It was a hit. More out of gratitude to Calhern than anything, MGM bought the film rights for him, budgeting it modestly and expecting a low-grossing "prestige picture." It did garner prestige, and even made a little money.

It's a sweet, low-key, moving character portrait, not "opened up" much from the stage and reeking of mid-century theatrical conventions -- you can tell which lines were the scene-enders onstage. The themes are Holmes's unfulfilled desire for sons, his abiding love for his wife, and his thoughtfulness and moral decency as a Supreme Court justice. Episodic and on the slow side, it has a civics-lesson mustiness, and yet it's satisfyingly sincere; the earnestness that MGM so often lent to its Americana works in its favor for a change. Calhern's performance is a model for aspiring actors, and he's matched at every step by Harding, who strikes unusual notes of fire and resolve in the standard behind-every-man loving-spouse part. Not a showy or brilliant movie, but a thoroughly satisfying one.


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