Hopefully some bright people will find the filmed record of this Hallmark Hall Of Fame presentation of The Magnificent Yankee and broadcast it on the Hallmark Channel. Future generations should get to look at Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne who left way too few filmed records of their talent.
The part of Oliver Wendell Holmes is a perfect fit for Alfred Lunt as much as it was Louis Calhern on stage and screen, ditto Fannie Bowditch Dixwell Holmes for Lynne Fontanne. Ironically both the Lunts and Holmes were in long term marriages to each other that were love matches and both couples were childless. I'm sure that gave the Lunts a great insight into the world of Fanny and Wendell.
The Lunts shared a profession as well. Now Fanny Holmes didn't sit on the Supreme Court with her husband, but she was a bright and well educated woman for her time, her father Dixwell's Latin School in Boston where the sons of the Yankee families sent their kids to be educated. She was as educated as any of the boys who went there and young Oliver Wendell Holmes fell for her while a young teenager and had eyes for no other.
And that's what The Magnificent Yankee is all about, not the story of the legal giant that was Oliver Wendell Holmes, but the story of a loving marriage and partnership between two Yankee bluebloods, Wendell and Fanny. Eduard Franz who played Louis D. Brandeis in the 1950 big screen film repeats his role in this version.
Let's hope the Hallmark Channel preempts one of its made for television films one night and airs this classic. Or better yet gets it out on DVD and/or VHS so a new generation can appreciate Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne.
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