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Edward, My Son (1949) Poster

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Ian Hunter repeats his stage role from the Broadway production, although his character's surname has been changed.
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Leueen MacGrath repeats her stage role from the Broadway production, although her character's surname has been changed.
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Much of the film's failure has fallen on the shoulders of Spencer Tracy, whose performance is distinctly out of step with his co-stars. Like most leading men of his day, Tracy refused to attempt dialects. In many cases, this did not negatively impact a film -- i.e. Clark Gable and Leslie Howard's home-grown tones tend to go unnoticed in Gone With the Wind (1939) -- but in the case of Edward, My Son (1949), Tracy's resistance to effecting an English accent resulted in his being a distractingly incongruous American presence in an otherwise all-British cast, with the drama taking place in and around London. Robert Morley, who wrote the play on which the film is based, originated Tracy's role on stage.
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"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 18, 1951 with Deborah Kerr reprising her film role.
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This film did very poorly at the box office for MGM, resulting in a loss of $1,159,000 ($11.73M in 2017) according to studio records.
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The quote Arnold makes when discussing increasing the shop's insurance with Harry is from Shakespear's "Julius Caesar", Act 4, Scene 3, spoken by Brutus.
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The titular character of Edward is unseen in both the stage and film versions, his presence deemed unnecessary by the authors, as the father's ruthless, corruptive influence defines the boy's increasingly antisocial behaviors. As such, Edward's unseen but much-discussed character flaws are the core element of the tale.
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A sterling example of the risk studios took in casting their stars against type: Spencer Tracy experienced box office failure only when cast as an unsympathetic character in films such as this, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), Tortilla Flat (1942), The Sea of Grass (1946), Cass Timberlane (1947) and Plymouth Adventure (1952).
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The play of the same name upon which this film is based opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre (Al Hirschfeld Theatre since 2003), 302 W. 45th St., on September 30, 1948 and ran for 260 performances until May 14, 1949.
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This film received its initial USA television broadcast in Seattle Tuesday 9 October 1956 on KING (Channel 5), followed by Altoona PA Saturday 15 December 1956 on WFBG (Channel 10), by Omaha Sunday 20 January 1957 on WOW (Channel 6), by New York City Monday 4 February 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2) and by Philadelphia Friday 12 April 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6); it's first Los Angeles telecast took place 27 June 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11); in San Francisco it first aired 4 March 1959 on KGO (Channel 7) and in Minneapolis 23 August 1960 on KMPS (Channel 9).
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In another awards season, Deborah Kerr's Oscar nomination surely would have been in the Best Supporting Actress category, but a dearth of 1949 candidates led to her being vaulted into the Best Actress race, which was all but clinched by Olivia de Havilland from the outset. This would occur again in future years, when a similar lack of competition led to Simone Signoret and Patricia Neal winning the Best Actress awards for their decidedly supporting roles in, respectively, Room at the Top (1959) and Hud (1963).
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