7.1/10
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25 user 11 critic

Edison, the Man (1940)

Passed | | Biography, Drama | 10 May 1940 (USA)
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

Writers:

Talbot Jennings (screen play), Bradbury Foote (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... Thomas A. Edison
Rita Johnson ... Mary Stilwell
Lynne Overman ... James G. 'Bunt' Cavatt
Charles Coburn ... General Powell
Gene Lockhart ... Mr. Taggart
Henry Travers ... Ben Els
Felix Bressart ... Michael Simon
Peter Godfrey ... Ashton
Guy D'Ennery ... Lundstrom
Byron Foulger ... Edwin Hall
Milton Parsons ... 'Acid' Graham
Arthur Aylesworth ... Jack Bigelow
Gene Reynolds ... Jimmy Price
Addison Richards ... Mr. Johnson
Grant Mitchell ... Snade
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Storyline

Hoored at a banquet for his sixty year career as an inventor, scientist, and businessman, 89 year old Thomas Alva Edison reflects back on his long career, which includes such achievements as the stock market ticker, the phonograph, the light bulb, and the motion picture. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Spencer Tracy's Greatest Performance

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in Cincinnati Sunday 10 February 1957 on WXIX (Channel 19) (Newport KY), followed by Seattle Monday 11 February 1957 on KING (Channel 5) and by Omaha Wednesday 13 February 1957 on WOW (Channel 6); in Hartford CT it first aired 2 March 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), in Minneapolis 7 April 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Chicago 29 June 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Philadelphia 27 September 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Altoona PA 25 October 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), and in San Francisco 9 September 1958 on KGO (Channel 7); New York television viewers got their first look at it 11 February 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2), but in Los Angeles its premiere telecast did not take place until Sunday 9 October 1960 on KTTV (Channel 11). See more »

Goofs

The montage sequence depicting Edison's inventions lists "electric power transmission" over a shot of a massive transmission line and the tower that holds it up. That technology was actually developed not by Thomas A. Edison but by Nikola Tesla. (Tesla held over 700 patents, including Radio. Guglielmo Marconi stole the radio patent from Tesla. The US Patent office has since revoked Marconi's claim, giving it to Tesla.) Edison insisted on powering his lights with direct current, which could only travel short distances from the generators that produced it. Tesla used alternating current, which could be run through transformers to increase its voltage so it could be moved over long distances, then reduced in voltage again for home use. Tesla's alternating current, not Edison's direct current, quickly became the standard and is what we use today. See more »

Quotes

Ben Els: I keep worryin' about Bunt. I guess I won't get a wink of sleep tonight.
Thomas A. Edison: Ah, Mr. Els, you shouldn't try to do two things at once. If you're gonna sleep, sleep. If you're gonna worry, why stay awake and make a good job of it.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits appear as 19th Century sampler embroideries. See more »

Connections

Follows Young Tom Edison (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, Promise Me
(1887) (uncredited)
Music by Reginald De Koven
Lyrics by Clement W. Scott
Played at wedding.
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User Reviews

 
An entertaining, but flawed bio of Thomas Alva Edison
15 February 2003 | by Peter22060See all my reviews

Motion Picture biographical representations of famous people usually remove the warts in their life history. It was not until February of 2003 did I learn that using carbon filaments, was the brainchild of African-American inventor Lewis Latimer and his partner, Joseph V. Nichols. The movie focuses around Edison's discovery of the carbon filament which lights the world, when actually Edison's filaments were made from bamboo and only lasted 30 hours.

The story as told is very pleasant and the performances of Spencer Tracey, Gene Lockhart and Charles Coburn hold the viewers interest. With the warts, this is still an inspiring motion picture. I think seeing Mickey Rooney as YOUNG TOM EDISON should be viewed first.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 May 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Edison, el hombre See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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