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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)
Reviews
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:

It's the Big Entertainment of the Year 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

James Craig and Marsha Hunt played a couple dating each other once again not too long after The Human Comedy in the 1943 Margaret O'Brien movie Lost Angel. James Craig played Mike Regan, a newspaper reporter, and Marsha Hunt played Katie Mallory, a singer in a nightclub and also Mike's girlfriend. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Version of The DuPont Show of the Month: The Human Comedy (1959) 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

a wonderful movie
27 September 2004 | by m_rappaport-1See all my reviews

Sure, it's probably true that this is a highly idealized version of America, but calling it "blatantly patriotic" ignores the fact that all American towns were blatantly patriotic when we fought the Last Good War. The idea that a Homer McCauley had every bit as much chance as a rich kid to make his mark might be uniquely American; he might never live in the big house on the hill, but he could become every bit as beloved in his world as a George Bailey might in Bedford Falls. One thing that makes "Human Comedy" rather unique for its time was that it was set in small-town central California back in the day when that was a long way off for most Americans. A wonderful movie; wish it was avilable on DVD.


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