7.0/10
1,701
53 user 15 critic

The Human Comedy (1943)

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

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

William Saroyan (from the story by), Howard Estabrook (screen play)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rooney ... Homer Macauley
Frank Morgan ... Willie Grogan
James Craig ... Tom Spangler
Marsha Hunt ... Diana Steed
Fay Bainter ... Mrs. Macauley
Ray Collins ... Mr. Macauley
Van Johnson ... Marcus Macauley
Donna Reed ... Bess Macauley
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins ... Ulysses Macauley (as Jack Jenkins)
Dorothy Morris ... Mary Arena
John Craven ... Tobey George
Ann Ayars ... Mrs. Sandoval
Mary Nash ... Miss Hicks
Henry O'Neill ... Charles Steed
Katharine Alexander ... Mrs. Steed
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Biggest Entertainment in America See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 February 1944 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

La comedia humana See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Movie developed into the Broadway musical production "The Human Comedy" opened at the Royale Theater in New York on April 5, 1984 and ran for 13 performances. 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

Librarian: What are you boys looking for?
Lionel: Books.
Librarian: What books are you looking for?
Lionel: All of them.
Librarian: What do you want with them?
Lionel: We wanna look at em.
Librarian: Books are for reading.
Lionel: Can't I just Look at em?
Librarian: That's not what the public library is for boy, but you can look into them and look at the pictures in them. What do you want the outsides for?
Lionel: I like to. can't i?
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
(1887) (uncredited)
Music by Anthony J. Showalter
Lyrics by Elisha A. Hoffman
Sung by John Craven and others on a troop train
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I love this forgotten piece of American nostalgia with it's family values, patriotism and sweet sentimentality.
25 July 2005 | by larry41onEbaySee all my reviews

I first saw this film on TV as a child in the 1960s and thought it delightful and sad. All the characters learn about the values of life, family, honesty and love. Yes it's packed with whole-kernel corn but what's wrong with that? I enjoy a good film noir, screwball comedy or even classic horror film but every once in a while it is good to think about the hopes our grandparents had for a better world after WWII and why we fought that war.

So if you don't like the WALTONS style of family values, please skip it and take in a modern film calculated by accountants and marketing departments to separate your money from your pocket.

But if you like a good story packed with an ensemble of very talented actors delivering charming home-spun dialogue in a near dream like world of hope, check this out.

My favorite line is delivered by the stunningly beautiful Marsha Hunt (who is still a beauty today!) when she tries to convince handsome James Craig they are both really in love, "You do love me, don't you? Yes you do, you know you do." Of course he walks away with his head in the clouds, and in love. You will be too when you give this dated cookie a bite!


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