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      The Human Comedy

      Released Mar 2, 1943 1h 58m Comedy Drama List
      83% Tomatometer 6 Reviews 68% Audience Score 250+ Ratings During World War II, high school student Homer Macauley (Mickey Rooney) and his boss, Willie Grogan (Frank Morgan), pull their weight at the local telegraph office. Homer is dedicated and enthusiastic at first, but becomes troubled when the office begins receiving death notices about local soldiers. Luckily, he finds inspiration in a new hire, the confident Tom Spangler (James Craig). But Tom has troubles of his own. Smitten with Diana Steed (Marsha Hunt), he too must overcome his insecurities. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

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      André Bazin Poésie 45 The paradox of The Human Comedy lies in the fact that, with a systematic, exhaustive degree of precision, propaganda reaches the level of a sort of poetry as each lesson is understood separately and carefully set apart as its own sermon. Dec 9, 2021 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Outdoes Capra in cornball melodrama, but does it well. Rated: B- May 12, 2010 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Since Mickey Rooney was then at the height of his popularity, many viewers saw it as just another episode of the Andy Hardy series, but it was actually a bittersweet small-town saga, in the vein of Capra, dealing with the inevitable loss of innocence Rated: B Nov 9, 2006 Full Review Michael Szymanski Zap2it.com Rated: 2/5 Sep 25, 2005 Full Review Eric Lurio Greenwich Village Gazette Rated: 3/5 Jun 6, 2005 Full Review Michael W. Phillips, Jr. Goatdog's Movies Considerable talent in direction and acting, and if viewers are able to put their cynicism behind them, it is an enjoyable film. Rated: 3/5 Apr 20, 2003 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Mark B It is obviously difficult for Americans of the 2020s to understand what the home front was like during World War II. Our loved ones were being shipped overseas and coming back horribly wounded, or in crates -- or not at all. Wide-sweeping domestic rules and protocols were in place, and in 1943, no one really knew how this was going to turn out. In my quest to watch all ~600 Best Picture-nominated films, I've stumbled on some gems, such as 1946's "The Best Years of Our Lives." I was always amazed at the bravery of that film, to show the harsh realities of PTSD (before it had that name) to an American audience that was literally on top of the world. So when I read about the plot of this one, I thought it was a great opportunity to show what daily life was about for small town Americans who weren't in the war. Hollywood gave us many, many action films, but the fact is only a small percentage of Americans actually saw combat. What a lost opportunity. I guess Hollywood *had* to be pluckish and hopeful in 1943, but good Lord this is one of the most syrupy, maudlin, melodramatic films I've ever seen, and if we made a drinking game based on the number of times Marsha Hunt says "darling," we'd all need liver transplants. Perhaps this could be remade. A realistic homefront film with a slightly-too-young to serve telegram deliverer who tries to not get jaded. Cut out the angelic brother and father, give him an arc, and do it right. Hmm. (#448 in my "watch all Best Picture Nominees" bucket list) Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/24/24 Full Review Quentin P The Human Comedy is a kind and gentle story of a world that lived in Saroyan's expansive mind, it is a vision of goodness, and it was the earnest talents of the actors that saved it from the saccharine director who loaded it with schmaltz. With lesser talent it would never have been have remembered and loved. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 09/30/23 Full Review david l The Human Comedy is this very syrupy, overly optimistic and on-the-nose drama that is also emotionally manipulative and particularly badly written in its dialogue. Admittedly, it has its charms, especially in its depiction of small town communities and in its excellent cinematography, but for the most part this is a very mediocre Best Picture nominee that also somehow ended up winning an Oscar for best story in spite of the script being its worst aspect. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review william d Mickey Rooney's Oscar-nominated performance may be the best of his career. Unfortunately, it takes place in one of the sappiest movies ever made. I don't mind sentimentality in films, but this was just too over the top. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review steve d Corny and forgettable. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review s r Not as good as the book, but it gives it a good go. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis During World War II, high school student Homer Macauley (Mickey Rooney) and his boss, Willie Grogan (Frank Morgan), pull their weight at the local telegraph office. Homer is dedicated and enthusiastic at first, but becomes troubled when the office begins receiving death notices about local soldiers. Luckily, he finds inspiration in a new hire, the confident Tom Spangler (James Craig). But Tom has troubles of his own. Smitten with Diana Steed (Marsha Hunt), he too must overcome his insecurities.
      Director
      Clarence Brown
      Producer
      Clarence Brown
      Screenwriter
      Howard Estabrook
      Distributor
      Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      Production Co
      Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
      Genre
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 2, 1943, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 1, 2012
      Runtime
      1h 58m
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