7.0/10
878
17 user 2 critic

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)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

82 year old inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison is honored in 1929 and he reflects back on his sixty year career of scientific achievement.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Rita Johnson, Lynne Overman
Suez (1938)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ferdinand de Lesseps, disappointed in love, is sent as a junior diplomat to the Isthmus of Suez, and realizes it's just the place for a canal.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Tyrone Power, Loretta Young, Annabella
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When one of 2 truck driving brothers loses an arm, they both join a transport company where later, the other is falsely charged as an accessory in the murder of the owner.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: George Raft, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1940, the motley crew of the British tramp steamer SS Glencairn prepares the ship for its perilous voyage from the West Indies to Baltimore and then to England.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

With her husband away to fight in World War II, a housewife struggles to care for their two daughters - and a pair of lodgers who have moved in - alone.

Directors: John Cromwell, Edward F. Cline, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Three sisters take their small inheritance and move from Kansas to California in search of rich husbands. To start with Pamela poses as a socialite and Moira and Elizabeth pretend to be her... See full summary »

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Loretta Young, Joel McCrea, David Niven
Let Us Live (1939)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two innocent men are wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The fiance of one of them convinces a police detective of their innocence, and together they try to find the real ... See full summary »

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Maureen O'Sullivan, Henry Fonda, Ralph Bellamy
Half Angel (1951)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Nurse Nora Gilpin is attracted to lawyer John Raymond whom she dislikes during the day and seduces during the night, when she sleepwalks.

Director: Richard Sale
Stars: Loretta Young, Joseph Cotten, Cecil Kellaway
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Dwight Dawson, who runs an unsuccessful success school, stages a contest to find the biggest failure in the USA, for publicity value when the "dope" takes his course. But winner Tad Page is... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Henry Fonda, Lynn Bari, Don Ameche
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An explosives manufacturer suspects a young man is out to kill him. He calls in new parents Nick and Nora to sort things out.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Virginia Grey
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An art director in the 1930s falls in love and attempts to make a young woman an actress despite Hollywood who wants nothing to do with her because of her problems with an estranged man and her alcoholic father.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Karen Black, Burgess Meredith
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 April 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alexander Graham Bell See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Alexander Graham Bell's daughter, Mrs. Gilbert Grosvenor, had official script approval. See more »

Goofs

One of the stories in the movie, that is set in 1873, is that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone "in his youth". But the first telephone was invented by Antonio Meucci in 1860 and Johann Philipp Reis in 1861, who also called his device "telephone", not Bell as it's stated in the movie. Bell didn't invented THE telephone but A telephone, the Bell-telephone. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Hubbard: Mr. Watson, please eat something. You must have the appetite of a bird.
Thomas Watson: Yes, Ma'am, a vulture.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Godfather: Part III (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Noel
Traditional 17th century hymn
Sung a cappella by unidentified carollers on Christmas Eve
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
While not the best history lesson, it is great entertainment...
8 June 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

If are looking for an accurate and detailed lesson about either the life of Alexander Graham Bell or the invention of the telephone, this film is far from perfect. Often it takes liberties and omissions--all in the aim of producing an entertaining film first and foremost. However, if you understand that it is NOT great history but purely there to entertain, it's pretty good. I would not put in on par with the Edison films at MGM or the wonderful Warner Brothers films on Pasteur and Erlich, but it is quite good.

The movie only concerns the period just before the telephone was invented as well as the process of inventing and marketing the device. So, if you want information about his work as a deaf educator or about his interesting family background, this film is maddeningly silent. I would LOVE to see a film talk particularly talking about his hatred of sign language (as he felt the deaf MUST be forced to learn to talk and function like the hearing) or the disdain many deaf today have for him. Perhaps this sort of discussion would be best dealt with in a documentary, but it IS fascinating stuff.

As far as this film goes, Ameche, Fonda and Young are all very good here, the direction very nice and the entire production is polished and pleasant from start to finish.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed