7.1/10
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23 user 10 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 »
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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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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 ... 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

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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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

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The World Premiere for this film in Thomas A. Edison's hometown of West Orange, New Jersey, serves as the backdrop for the mystery novel "Dead at the Box Office" by John Dandola. The novel explains in great detail how M.G.M. went about planning and carrying out the festivities. See more »

Goofs

Thomas A. Edison's hearing ability is played in the movie as being much better than it was in reality. See trivia. See more »

Quotes

Thomas A. Edison: How about that job you promised me?
Bunt Cavatt: Hah? Oh... You don't want to work in New York, Tom. This town is no good fer yeh. The tall buildings crush the spirit and torment the soul.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Sweet Genevieve
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Henry Tucker
Lyrics by George Cooper
Played often in the score
Sung a bit by Spencer Tracy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
beautifully executed, but historically inaccurate
22 February 2006 | by roofusdcSee all my reviews

Edison in this version comes across as a kindly soul, sort of "Santa the inventor" -- kind to one and all.

Don't look for historical accuracy of any kind in this film. Although the acting is nicely done. Spencer Tracy is a constant delight. He even gets to play the organ in one scene! Tracy and Co.'s contributions rate it a six, but it certainly doesn't deserve anything more.

I especially loved the one-handed Morse-code tapping Edison. One doesn't need to know much about Edison to realize pretty quickly that this is sheer hagiography.

There is even a court room scene between gas and electrical lighting. Pretty fun.


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