29 November 2006 | Doylenf
Interesting story of the inventor's life...Ameche's signature role...
Just how factual all the events are in Fox's biographical account of THE STORY OF Alexander GRAHAM BELL, I don't know, but it seems safe to say they have taken the basic outline of his life and embellished it with a series of vignettes that serve to show us how and why he became the inventor of the telephone.
Although this is DON AMECHE's signature role (indeed the invention is often referred to as "The Ameche"), he clearly had better roles in his future. Here he overacts to a tiresome degree under Irving Cummings' direction. On the other hand, there's a considerable amount of underplaying by LORETTA YOUNG and HENRY FONDA in subordinate roles. Young is Ameche's deaf wife and Fonda is his laboratory assistant.
Factual or not, it moves at a slow pace and may not be the kind of biography for everyone, lacking the vigorous style of a story about Jesse James, for example. There's a little too much talk before we get to the crucial scene in the film where Ameche spills acid and calls for help over the wire to Fonda in the next room.
Supporting cast includes GENE LOCKHART, SPRING BYINGTON and CHARLES COBURN (who must have been one of Hollywood's busiest character actors in the '30s and '40s).