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Young Tom Edison (1940)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 15 March 1940 (USA)
Inventor Thomas Edison's boyhood is chronicled and shows him as a lad whose early inventions and scientific experiments usually end up causing disastrous results. As a result, the towns ... See full summary »

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

Bradbury Foote (original screenplay), Dore Schary (original screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mickey Rooney ... Thomas Alva 'Tom' Edison
Fay Bainter ... Mrs. Samuel 'Nancy' Edison
George Bancroft ... Samuel 'Sam' Edison
Virginia Weidler ... Tannie Edison
Eugene Pallette ... Mr. Nelson
Victor Kilian ... Mr. Dingle
Bobby Jordan ... Joe 'Joey' Dingle (as Bobbie Jordan)
J.M. Kerrigan ... Mr. McCarney
Lloyd Corrigan ... Dr. Pender
John Kellogg ... Bill Edison
Clem Bevans ... Mr. Waddell
Eily Malyon ... Miss Lavina Howard, School Teacher
Harry Shannon ... Army Captain Brackett
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Storyline

Inventor Thomas Edison's boyhood is chronicled and shows him as a lad whose early inventions and scientific experiments usually end up causing disastrous results. As a result, the towns folk all think Tom is crazy, and creating a strained relationship between Tom and his father. Toms only solace is his understanding mother who believes he's headed to do great things. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 23, 1940 with Mickey Rooney and Virginia Weidler reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

When young Tom jumps on the train to sell his maple candy, he tells the first customer the price is "a nickel". The scene takes place in the late 1850s. The first US nickel five cent coin wasn't issued until 1866. (At the time, the only 5¢ coin was a half-dime, a tiny silver coin but not called "a nickel".) See more »

Quotes

Joe 'Joey' Dingle: You said you had some gas that'd make me fly. Show me.
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Crazy Credits

After "The End" title page, a portrait of Tom Edison is displayed and, after some of the inventor's many accomplishments are noted, then the camera pans back to show Spencer Tracy admiring the painting while the narrator announces the forthcoming "Edison, The Man (1940)" biography (featuring Tracy in the title role). See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer-colorized version. See more »


Soundtracks

Sweet Genevieve
Written by George Cooper and Henry Tucker
Played by Fay Bainter on the organ
Sung by Virginia Weidler, Mickey Rooney and George Bancroft
Variations played throughout as part of the score
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User Reviews

 
A Troubling Movie
7 January 2016 | by michaelcarraherSee all my reviews

I was much more familiar with the sequel, "Edison The Man," when I watched this film. The depiction of Edison is completely inconsistent between the two films (apparently about seven years Edison spent as a telegrapher). He doesn't just mature; he undergoes a complete personality change. Edison in this movie is sort of Sheldon Cooper of the 19th Century but annoying, rather than funny. I am shocked by the physical abuse he endures but at times I feel the urge to hit the self- absorbed brat, too. I have read the Edison may have suffered from Asperger's Syndrome (like Sheldon), and Rooney's portrayal is consistent with that, although Asperger's was not yet defined when this movie was made. This may be a far more realistic depiction of Edison than Spencer Tracy's in "Edison The Man." But Tracy's is the more enjoyable of the two films.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der junge Edison See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA 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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