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 »
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 »
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.
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I saw HUMAN COMEDY when I was a young teen and its story haunted me. Now I'm grownup, jaded, if I saw it again I'd probably make snide comments like so many others here -- "LB Mayer wanted to sell the lie of homespun values all wrapped up pretty; if the movie had been made at Warners the set decoration certainly would've been grittier," etc etc.
But I come to its defense on the basis of my viewing it at a young age. Consider the story: Young boy lies about his age to get a job, ends up delivering telegrams informing families their sons are dead... that's potent. Probably even at age 13 I was able to figure out the invevitable ending: What would the FINAL telegram be? But it stayed with me in a way that few movies have...
Would it be more acceptable if it were classified as adolescent literature?
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