Prizefighter Johnny is in love with his promoter O'Malley's daughter Pat. His best friend, sports reporter Rick, is also in love with her but knows that she loves Johnny. Lonely Rick takes ... See full summary »
Mary Herries has a passion for art and fine furniture. Even though she is getting on in years, she enjoys being around these priceless articles. One day she meets a strange young painter ... See full summary »
Michael Worthington, an elderly owner of an apiary, befriends an embittered artist, Jamie McFarlaine, who is seeking a divorce from his wife. Jamie falls in love with Alice, but the romance... See full summary »
The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables... See full summary »
A crusading reporter plans his own arrest and conviction for first degree murder, trying to show that the death sentence should be outlawed when based on circumstantial evidence alone, but his plan goes awry.
The play, "The Magnificent Yankee," opened at the Royale Theater in New York on January 22, 1946, and ran for 159 performances, with Louis Calhern in the lead role. While other Hollywood actors were eligible to play Oliver Wendell Holmes, MGM decided to let Calhern reprise his Broadway role in the film, to thank him for his many years of service as a supporting player at their studio. See more »
When Oliver and Fanny run out of the library upon hearing the fire bells, a moving shadow of the camera and rigging is visible on the bookcase to the right. See more »
Oliver Wendell Holmes:
It's a free country. Everybody's entitled to his opinion... even the President of the United States.
See more »
Louis Calhern who was in demand right up to his death in 1956 on both stage and screen gets a chance to repeat his most famous stage role as Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Magnificent Yankee. He appeared on Broadway with this play by Emmett Lavery in 1946 for 159 performances with Dorothy Gish playing his wise and patient wife Fanny Dixwell Holmes.
For those who think that this play and movie is about the Great Dissenter on the Supreme Court Oliver Wendell Holmes, author of some of the best known and most quoted legal opinions ever rendered by the US Supreme Court you are wrong. It is instead about a love story between two elderly people, Wendell and Fanny, who embark on a new adventure when at the ripe old age of 60, Wendell gets a major new job in his chosen profession.
If Holmes had never been put on the Supreme Court by Theodore Roosevelt in 1902 his reputation would rest on being the author of The Common Law which is a history of and Holmes view of same. It's a classic in jurisprudence published in many languages. In 1902 Holmes was three years into the job of Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court when he got the call which insurance actuarists would have given him a decade tops on his new job.
Yet we first meet Mr. Justice Holmes and his lady right after that appointment, buying a new home for themselves in Washington, DC. They were one of the great love stories in history. Fanny Dixwell was the daughter of the man who ran Dixwell's Latin School in Boston which was THE place to be sending your young Yankee children for their education. They met as children and it was love at first sight. They had eyes for no others.
Taking Dorothy Gish's place for the screen version is Ann Harding. She and Calhern perfectly fit my conception of what the Holmeses must have been like in their private moments. Eduard Franz plays Holmes friend and colleague Louis D. Brandeis who was his partner in dissent on many occasion replacing Edgar Barrier who did the role on stage.
It's sad that while Calhern was given an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, Ann Harding was not similarly honored. The two roles are so entwined that I don't think you can honor one without the other. I made a similar comment on William Powell being nominated for Nick Charles in The Thin Man and Myrna Loy being snubbed for the same film.
The Holmeses had no children, they did in fact raise a niece who was out of the picture when they moved to the capital, but the legend about his law clerks from Harvard becoming surrogate sons is quite true. You can spot such players as Jimmy Lydon, Richard Anderson, and Herbert Anderson in brief roles as the many clerks Holmes had over the years.
Oliver Wendell Holmes was possibly our most distinguished man of the law and Louis Calhern brings him vividly alive with the wit and grace Holmes was known for in his life. Don't ever miss The Magnificent Yankee played by a magnificent actor about a magnificent man.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this