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The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, History | 14 April 1939 (USA)
The story of how Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.

Director:

Irving Cummings

Writers:

Ray Harris (story), Lamar Trotti (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Ameche ... Alexander Graham Bell
Loretta Young ... Mrs. Mabel Hubbard Bell
Henry Fonda ... Thomas Watson
Charles Coburn ... Gardner Hubbard
Gene Lockhart ... Thomas Sanders
Spring Byington ... Mrs. Hubbard
Sally Blane ... Gertrude Hubbard
Polly Ann Young ... Grace Hubbard
Georgiana Young ... Berta Hubbard
Bobs Watson ... George Sanders
Russell Hicks ... Mr. Barrows
Paul Stanton ... Chauncey Smith
Jonathan Hale ... President of Western Union
Harry Davenport ... Judge Rider
Beryl Mercer ... Queen Victoria
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Storyline

Alexander Graham Bell falls in love with deaf girl Mabel Hubbard while teaching the deaf and trying to invent means for telegraphing the human voice. She urges him to put off thoughts of marriage until his experiments are complete. He invents the telephone, marries and becomes rich and famous, though his happiness is threatened when a rival company sets out to ruin him. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Darryl F. Zanuck's Entertainment gem will take its place in the Hall of Fame ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bell's wife, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, despite becoming deaf at age 5 became an exceptional speaker and lip reader as a result of the efforts of her parents. See more »

Goofs

Bell said, that he sent the first time a sound through a wire, in the 1870s. The actual first sound through a wire was made by Philipp Reis in 1862. See more »

Quotes

Alexander Graham Bell: Shall the lonely scientist, the man who dreams, and out of his dreams benefits the world, is he, that often half-starved, lonely little man, to be told the world has no need of him the moment his work is done?
Alexander Graham Bell: Is he to be told that others, less gifted, but stronger, men with money and power behind them, are waiting to take the product of his genius and turn it to their own uses? -leaving him with liar and thief branded on his brow as his only reward? Do that, and you stop the clock of progress. ...
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Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
Music traditional - English origin (ca. 1755)
Part of a medley sung by an unidentified trio demonstrating the telephone
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User Reviews

" Mr. Watson! Come here! I need you! "
26 March 2012 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

Irving Cummings does an excellent job directing the cast of assembled actors in this film. The story itself is taken from the memories of the daughter of Alex Bell and follows through with all the trials and tribulations of Bell himself. Beginning with the decision he gave up teaching the deaf and dumb to speak and through the obscure and menial existence of an inventor, up through the difficult task fighting for his invention in court. Don Ameche plays Alexander Graham Bell, who does so with such spirit and vitality, audiences will later realize why this actor is so synonymous with the character. The same is true with Henry Fonda who plays Thomas Watson who also is easily identified with this movie. Loretta Young, Charles Coburn and Gene Lockhart are magnificent and help insure this black and white becomes a solid standard in any collection of what we now understand as Classic films. ****


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 April 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alexander Graham Bell See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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