Young Tom Edison

Overview

This account of Thomas Alva Edison's boyhood depict him as a brilliant but rambunctious teenager (Mickey Rooney), often distracted by his own ideas and frequently carried toward disaster by his fascination with his experiments, much to the consternation of his parents, neighbors, and teachers. While most of the town of Port Huron, Michigan -- including his own father (George Bancroft) -- doubt the boy's competency, his younger sister ({Virginia Weidler) and, most of all, his mother (Fay Bainter) believe in him ...
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Overview

This account of Thomas Alva Edison's boyhood depict him as a brilliant but rambunctious teenager (Mickey Rooney), often distracted by his own ideas and frequently carried toward disaster by his fascination with his experiments, much to the consternation of his parents, neighbors, and teachers. While most of the town of Port Huron, Michigan -- including his own father (George Bancroft) -- doubt the boy's competency, his younger sister ({Virginia Weidler) and, most of all, his mother (Fay Bainter) believe in him and help sustain him until the climactic moment where his abilities and knowledge help avert a tragedy. Most of the major incidents depicted in the movie are true, and verified by the historical record -- or were believed to be true (based on Edison's own accounts) at the time of the movie's production -- though the time-line has been altered (and compressed) for dramatic purposes, in what is generally an entertaining and surprisingly informative bio-pic.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
MGM's Young Tom Edison would make a fine double feature with David O. Selznick's production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938). Both were the work of director Norman Taurog, who showed himself a master story-teller when it came to depicting the lives (including the internal lives) of boys -- and while Young Tom Edison lacks the opulent Technicolor of the earlier movie, it makes up for it with MGM's top-line production values and a fine lead performance by Mickey Rooney, plus superb supporting portrayals all around. The movie captures just the right mix of joy, sorrow, suspense, and pathos to carry this story, which hews amazingly close to the facts, apart from some chronological liberties. Virginia Weidler as Tom's younger sister almost steals the picture at times, and George Bancroft and Fay Bainter, as Tom's parents, give fine, strong performances as well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/2009
  • UPC: 883316125717
  • Original Release: 1940
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:22:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 2,824

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mickey Rooney Tom Edison
Fay Bainter Mrs. Samuel Edison
George Bancroft Samuel Edison
Virginia Weidler Tannie Edison
Eugene Pallette Mr. Nelson
Victor Kilian Mr. Dingle
J.M. Kerrigan Mr. McCarney
Lloyd Corrigan Dr. Pender
John Kellogg Bill Edison
Clem Bevans Mr. Waddell
Eily Malyon Schoolteacher
Harry Shannon Capt. Brackett
Pedro de Cordoba Captain Brackett
Bobby Jordan Joe Dingle
Technical Credits
Norman Taurog Director
Hugo Butler Screenwriter
John W. Considine Jr. Producer
Jack Dawn Makeup
Orville O. Dull Associate Producer
Bradbury Foote Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Dore Schary Screenwriter
Gile Steele Costumes/Costume Designer
Dolly Tree Costumes/Costume Designer
Elmo Vernon Editor
Sidney Wagner Cinematographer
Edward Ward Score Composer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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