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The Human Comedy
Directed by Clarence Brown
Produced by Clarence Brown
Written by William Saroyan
Howard Estabrook
Starring Mickey Rooney
Cinematography Harry Stradling Sr.
Editing by Conrad A. Nervig
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) March 2, 1943
Running time 118 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Human Comedy is a 1943 drama film directed by Clarence Brown and adapted by Howard Estabrook. [1] It is often thought to be based on the novel of the same name, but actually Saroyan wrote the screenplay first, was fired from the movie project, and quickly wrote the novel and published it just before the movie was released. It starred Mickey Rooney, Frank Morgan, James Craig, Marsha Hunt, Fay Bainter, Ray Collins, Van Johnson, Donna Reed and Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins. Robert Mitchum and Don DeFore appear uncredited as buddies of a soldier Barry Nelson with a night off from training, trying to meet girls and take in a movie.

The film is a largely plotless story of the teenaged Homer Macauley (Rooney) in high school, working part time as a telegram delivery boy, in the fictional town of Ithica, California, during World War II. The effects of the war on the "Home Front" over a year in Homer's life are depicted in sentimental scenarios involving himself; his family, friends, and neighbors; and acquaintances encountered. The storyline is directed by a narrator, Homer's deceased father (Ray Collins).

Contents

Production

Saroyan wrote a movie treatment and a screenplay that he was asked to direct. He was paid off and removed from the project when his film proved to be more than two hours long. Saroyan was not at all happy with the film as completed by Brown, and he wrote his novel from the script he produced. The novel was published at the same time as the film's release with the intent of countering the film version of the story. There are noticeable differences between the film and the novel, including a stronger characterization of Ulysses, the small boy, in the novel and far fewer scenes of sentiment than were incorporated into the film by Estabrook and Brown (social criticism is also much blunter in the novel). [2]

Awards

It won the Academy Award for Best Story and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Mickey Rooney), Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Best Director and Best Picture.

Cast

References

External links

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