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The Human Comedy (1943)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  14 February 1944 (Sweden)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,240 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 13 critic

Teenager Homer Macauley stays at home in small-town Ithaca to support his family, while his older brother Marcus prepares to go to war.

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(from the story by), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
James Craig ...
...
Fay Bainter ...
...
...
...
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins ...
Ulysses Macauley (as Jack Jenkins)
Dorothy Morris ...
...
Ann Ayars ...
...
Henry O'Neill ...
Katharine Alexander ...
Edit

Storyline

Homer Macauley remains in a small town looking after his widowed mother and younger brother. Homer's older brother is fighting the war in Europe. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 February 1944 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La comedia humana  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer William Saroyan wanted desperately to direct the film despite having no experience in directing. Louis B. Mayer told Saroyan that he would consider the request and assigned the writer to direct a one reel short. The short film was a disappointment and studio stalwart Clarence Brown was promptly assigned. Saroyan was so bitter about the experience he wrote a play about Mayer soon after titled "Get Away Old Man". He also adapted the story he wrote for the film into a novel, which was published within weeks of the movie premiere and became a best seller. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film when Homer and his friends walk to the telegraph office Homer's tie is tied up short (the tail below the broad part of the tie) but when Homer enters the office and in the following scenes, the tie is tied correctly. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Macauley: I am Matthew Macauley. I have been dead for two years. So much of me is still living that I know now the end is only the beginning. As I look down on my homeland of Ithaca, California, with its cactus, vineyards and orchards, I see that so much of me is still living there - in the places I've been, in the fields and streets and church and most of all in my home, where my hopes, my dreams, my ambitions still live in the daily life of my loved ones.
See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

A Dream
(1902) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by James Carroll Bartlett
Performed by Donna Reed Dorothy Morris
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User Reviews

One of the most heartwarming movies I have ever seen.
24 February 2001 | by (Philadelphia,Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

The Human Comedy begins with the voice of the deceased father describing life in the small town of Ithaca California. He slowly introduces the viewer to his family in such a warm and loving way, that you are convinced that love really does survive death. The movie goes on to follow the lives of the family as they cope with the daily trials and tribulations of life in war time America. To those of us removed by time from this era, this movie transports you back to a place where values such as patriotism, neighborliness, compassion and community are alive and vibrate in the hearts and souls of those living through the war on America's home front. This movie never fails to move me every time I view it. There is really something magical about the confluence of events, from the voice and ghostly appearance of the recently deceased father, to the flesh and blood everyday characters that populate the film, to the young soldier who never had a family and comes to Ithica to fufill his own dream. What a movie! And the most surprising element of the entire story is the fact that even though told from the vantage point of the dead, the movie is totally and refreshenly life affirming. One of the most heart warming movies I have ever seen, I cannot recommend it enough.


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