7.0/10
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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

George "Alfalfa" Switzer of Our Gang plays Augie 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

Version of Summer Playhouse: The Human Comedy (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night
(1853) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Foster
Sung a cappella by Ernest Whitman
Also sung by Mickey Rooney and Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Homefront USA
12 September 2007 | by teesellerSee all my reviews

Author William Saroyan had a special love for America — a special kind of love that seems to be reserved for us fortunate ones who are immigrants to this great country. Or, at least, that's how it was a generation or two ago.

This film displays this love for America in the special way of the home front milieu of the 40s. No doubt, it's a sentimental, even maudlin look at the meaning of "home." Homer McCauley (Mickey Rooney) is a telegraph runner for his boss, the wonderful Frank Morgan, in the small California town of Ithaca, where he must deliver telegrams to the folks who have lost a loved one in the war. The film shows in many touching ways what it was like to be on the sidelines (keep your chin up; do the best you can) while the boys where fighting "over there."

As a small boy growing up in Germany during this time, it was one of the first American films I ever saw. It, more than any other thing, made me understand what it would be like to be somewhere where the little things in life are important, while the 'big stuff' takes care of itself. A place where small, unimportant folks count for as much as, or even more than, the ones hogging the news.

Watch this film if you can (shown on Turner Classic Movies) and see what we have lost and what we must find a way to get back into our lives.


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