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Story of Alexander Graham Bell, The (TCF 1939, Don Ameche, Henry Fonda)

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Don Ameche became forever associated with his role in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell, a straightforward biopic of the inventor of the telephone.

The movie recounts the story of the Scottish immigrant who comes to America to work with the deaf, including Young, his future wife and the comely daughter of rich Charles Coburn. While continuing his work with the deaf, Ameche gets backing from his father-in-law to perfect a device that would transmit voices over Western Union’s telegraph lines. Henry Fonda plays his assistant, Watson.

Ameche in fact became so identified with the title role that “Ameche” became accepted slang for the telephone. In Ball of Fire (1941), Barbara Stanwyck’s character refers to the phone as “the Ameche.

production details
Country: USA | Twentieth Century Fox  | 97 minutes
Release Year: 1939

Director: Irving Cummings
Writers: Lamar Trotti, Ray Harris,

cast
Don Ameche as Alexander Graham Bell
Henry Fonda as Thomas Watson
Spring Byington as Mrs. Hubbard
Loretta Young as Mrs. Mabel Hubbard Bell
Jonathan Hale as President of Western Union
Sally Blane as Gertrude Hubbard
Harry Tyler as Joe Eliot
Dick Elliott as Man Laughing at Demo
Gene Lockhart as Thomas Sanders
Charles Coburn as Gardner Hubbard
Lillian West as Sanders’ Nurse
Ruth Robinson as Nurse
Harry Davenport as Judge Rider
Bobs Watson as George Sanders
Frank Jaquet as Edward
Paul Stanton as Chauncey Smith
Charles Tannen as Court Clerk
Claire Du Brey as Landlady
Elizabeth Patterson as Mrs. MacGregor
Charles Trowbridge as George Pollard
John Graham Spacey as Sir John Cowell
Polly Ann Young as Grace Hubbard
Georgiana Young as Berta Hubbard
Russell Hicks as Mr. Barrows
Beryl Mercer as Queen Victoria
Jan Duggan as Mrs. Winthrop
Ralph Remley as D’Arcy – Singer
Zeffie Tilbury as Mrs. Sanders
Esther Brodelet as Telephone Operator
Tyler Brooke as Mr. Calhoun
Nora Cecil as Miss Jenkins
Davison Clark as Court Attendant at Door
Edmund Elton as Banker at Demo
Fern Emmett as Mac Gregor’s Maid
Mary Field as Piano Player
George Guhl as Mr. Winthrop
Otto Hoffman as Pawnbroker
Warren Jackson as Tom
Sheldon Jett as New England Telephone Company Executive
Edward Keane as Banker at Demo
Crauford Kent as General
Edward LeSaint as Banker at Demonstration
Jarold Clifford Lyons as Infant
Dave Morris as Telegrapher
Ottola Nesmith as Nora
Landers Stevens as Manager of New England Telephone Exchange
William Wagner as
Eddy Waller as Storekeeper
Jack Walsh as James J. Starrow
John Elliotte as Banker at Demo
Jack Kelly as Banker’s Son (uncredited)

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