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Magnificent Yankee, The (MGM 1950, Louis Calhern, Ann Harding)



This life of jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes, based on the popular play by Emmett Lavery, is a showcase for the fine acting of Louis Calhern, in the title role, and Ann Harding, playing his devoted wife. Very little time is spent in the courtroom, with the drama largely confined to the domestic matters of this loving couple and a celebration of Holmes’s 80th birthday.

The British title of The Magnificent Yankee was The Man with Thirty Sons, a reference to the Harvard Law graduates whom Oliver Wendell Holmes sponsored.

Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Actor: Louis Calhern.

production details
USA | MGM | 80 minutes | 1950

Director: John Sturges
Producer: Armand Deutsch
Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg
Editor: Ferris Webster
Music: David Raksin
Script: Emmett Lavery
Production Design: Cedric Gibbons
Art Direction: Arthur Lonergan

Philip Ober as Owen Wister / Narrator
Eduard Franz as Judge Louis Brandeis
Louis Calhern as Oliver Wendell Holmes
Ann Harding as Fanny Bowditch Holmes