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
In the film, Edison and his wife communicate with each other by tapping out Morse code. In the movie this is presented as a charming endearment, but in fact Thomas A. Edison was so deaf that the only way he and his wife could talk was by tapping Morse code on each other's hands. See more »
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 »
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.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this