Young Tom Edison (1940)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

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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In Theaters:
Warner Home Video

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Mickey Rooney
as Tom Edison
George Bancroft
as Samuel Edison
Virginia Weidler
as Tannie Edison
Fay Bainter
as Mrs. Samuel Edison
Eugene Pallette
as Mr. Nelson
Victor Kilian
as Mr. Dingle
Bobby Jordan
as Joe Dingle
J.M. Kerrigan
as Mr. McCarney
Lloyd Corrigan
as Dr. Pender
John Kellogg
as Bill Edison
Clem Bevans
as Mr. Waddell
Eily Malyon
as Schoolteacher
Harry Shannon
as Capt. Brackett
Pedro de Cordoba
as Captain Brackett
Pedro de Cordoba
as Captain Brackett
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Critic Reviews for Young Tom Edison

All Critics (1)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 10, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

March 24, 2013

Audience Reviews for Young Tom Edison

A wonderful film, especially when you consider how old it is. It sure holds up well today. Mickey Rooney is inspirational as the legendary American inventor, Tom Edison. The acting is actually quite good from everybody involved with Virginia Weidler and George Bancroft being other standouts. It's a neat movie that everybody should see. (First and only viewing - 1/18/2016)

Adam R
Adam R

good bio-pic part one MGM bought the story of edison and split his life into 2 pics this and the spencer tracey pic

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

I love history especially the older I get. I've been to the Edison museum in W. Orange NJ and so was very interested when this movie was on this past Sunday. Mickey Rooney was America's most popular actor when this movie was made in 1940. Edison had a loving mother & sister, a heavy disciplinarian father but he was always interested in trying new things. It's a 1940's gem!

Janet Chambers
Janet Chambers

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