The Human Comedy (1943)


February 25, 1943

Art Credits:

Illustrations by Don Freeman


Based on Saroyan's original screen treatment for MGM. MGM co-founder and studio boss Louis B. Mayer hired Saroyan to write the screenplay, but turned out to be far too long, and the assignment was turned over to Howard Estabrook, who based his screenplay on Saroyan's treatment. Saroyan would win the Oscar for Best Story in 1944. 

Spent 15 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list, peaking at #2.

Was the March 1943 Book-of-the-Month Club selection.

TheHumanCOmedy203Issued as an Armed Services Edition in September 1943.

Adapted as the film Ithica by Meg Ryan in 2015. Meg Ryan would also read an audiobook edition of The Human Comedy that same year.

In 1943, Nick Hoffer created La Comédie Humaine, a comic strip based on The Human Comedy for  Le Petit Journal,

The Human Comedy was also adapted for an episode of The DuPont Show of the Month in March 1959. 

The Human Comedy 001 PB002A musical adaptation premiered at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in 1983, eventually moving to Broadway in 1984. 

UK edition published by Faber & Faber in 1943

Translated into several languages, including German, Japanese, Russian, Armenian, Spanish, French, Danish, and Dutch.


Additional Materials:

 The Human Comedy, 1942, vault copy of the script for the film written by Howard Estabrook for MGM, FF-2-11

The Human Comedy, 1942, Saroyan's screen story for The Human Comedy, the basis for Estabrook's script, FF-3-5

.The Human Comedy, 1943, Galley Proofs for The Human Comedy novel, FF-6-7

Contract for The Human Comedy, 1943, Harcourt Brace publication contract, FF-3-16

In the Forever Saroyan collection: 



Stay Up to Date With News, Events, and Publications

A Family Legacy Project


© 2012-2024 Forever Saroyan, LLC | Website By: Tree Top Web Design