The Magnificent Yankee

Biopic of Oliver Wendell Holmes and his loving wife, based on the hit Broadway play.
653 ratings
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  WAC 612688D

DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 28 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: March 23, 2009
  • Originally Released: 1950
  • Label: Warner Archive Collection (MOD)
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
  • Audio:
    • English

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Performer: , , , , , , &
Directed by
Edited by
Composition by
Art Direction by
Produced by
Director of Photography:

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 5


User Ratings: 102
Low key near-documentary biopic, with interesting sidelights in US history and culture. Full Review
Classic Film and Television
Dec 5, 2016
The Magnificent Yankee is a splendid contribution to American history. Full Review
Associated Press
Jul 30, 2019
Rating: C -- So inoffensive and so insignificant, it makes you wonder why a film version of Emmet Lavery's play was either desired or delivered...there's just no apparent motive. Full Review
Nick's Flick Picks
Jan 23, 2004

Description by

When 61-year-old Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. arrives in Washington DC in 1902 to take his seat on the Supreme Court, he worries that he may be to old to achieve much. But his wife Fanny will hear no such nonsense: "It's never too late for those who love a good fight, for those who keep on looking ahead!" Fanny is right. Holmes will remain on the Court for 30 years, helping bring about momentous changes in the law of free speech, labor relations and other vital issues. But one thing would never change - the bedrock devotion Holmes and Fanny shared. Louis Calhern reprises his famed Broadway role (earning a 1950 Best Actor Oscar? nomination) as the Great Dissenter in this moving, lively and often humorous biography of The Magnificent Yankee.

Product Description:

Starring Louis Calhern as the groundbreaking legal giant Oliver Wendell Holmes, THE MAGNIFICENT YANKEE is perhaps the most far afield from his normal metier of any film that John Sturges worked on. Nonetheless, he acquits himself well in a biopic that mainly concentrates on Holmes's peaceful domestic life. Arriving in Washington as a Supreme Court appointee in 1902, Holmes goes on to establish himself in the next 30 years as he Great Dissenter--"the most illustrious figure in the history of American law," according to Judge Richard Posner. Holmes and his wife, Fanny, have no children but enjoy a happy marriage, and he takes a paternal interest in the 35 law clerks who work for him during the period, a list that includes many familiar names, from Louis Brandeis to Alger Hiss. Well-known friends of the judge's such as novelist Owen Wister (THE VIRGINIAN) and historian Henry Adams (MONT ST. MICHEL ET CHARTRES) also make an appearance. When he turns 80, the justice's clerks all return to celebrate his birthday. A literate, if sentimental, tribute, its depiction of the jurist as a kindly old man leaves the source of his eminence something of a mystery. However, it features a finely modulated perfomance by Calhern in the title role.


This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
Studio Vaults
Warner Archive Collection

Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 27,200
  • UPC: 883316126882
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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