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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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at Amazon

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

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

This movie was made only 9 years after the real Thomas A. Edison died. 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

Mr. Taggart: We've no guarantee that these theories of yours are workable.
Thomas A. Edison: Well, most electricity is theory yet.
Mr. Taggart: That's the trouble. Beyond a point what good is electricity anyway?
Thomas A. Edison: What good is a newborn baby?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Follows Young Tom Edison (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Meeting in the Rain
(uncredited)
Music by David Snell and Herbert Stothart
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spencer Gave a Great Performance
2 May 2007 | by whpratt1See all my reviews

Viewed this film a long time ago and enjoyed seeing the great acting performance that Spencer Tracy portrayed as Thomas A. Edison. Tracy must have put a great deal of study into Mr. Edison's life and his laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J. because he looked just like him. Tom Edison had a very rough times being without money and struggling many long hours with very disappointing results. Gene Lockhart,(Mr.Taggart) had a great deal of stock in the gas companies and was trying to stop Edison from producing the electric light. However, Charles Coburn,(General Powell) had great confidence in Tom Edison's inventions and he gave a great deal of financial support among the stock brokers in New York. This is a very nice story of a great inventor and many generations will enjoy this story.


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