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1981
Volume 15, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1753-6421
  • E-ISSN: 1753-643X

Abstract

William Saroyan’s novel (1943) may be the first significant American novel adapted from a screenplay. The author had been contracted to create a film for MGM, but with representative Hollywood chicanery, Saroyan was done out of his manuscript and had to settle for a mere ‘from the story by’ credit. No film crystallizes the MGM vision of America while implying the promises of readjustment to come when the war is over more completely than . Louis B. Mayer believed it was the greatest film ever produced by MGM. It had a tremendous impact at the time; even critics who lambasted its sentimentality could not deny its melodramatic power. In a marketing twist, the film was advertised as being based on ‘Saroyan’s great novel’ even though the novel had not yet been published. The film may be dated and neglected, but the novel remains in print and is among Saroyan’s most important works. The film and novel retain the screenplay’s extensive dialogue and both raise questions about cinematic and literary narrative.

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2023-02-20
2024-07-22
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