The story was made into a 1947 movie starring Danny Kaye as a young daydreaming editor of pulp magazines. The film was adapted for the screen by Ken Englund, Everett Freeman, and Philip Rapp, and directed by Norman Z. McLeod. It was filmed in Technicolor.
Thurber was repeatedly consulted about the film's script, but his suggestions were largely ignored by producer Samuel Goldwyn, who had the writers alter the original story to showcase Kaye's talents. In a letter to Life magazine, Thurber expressed his considerable dissatisfaction with the script, even as Goldwyn insisted in another letter that Thurber approved of it.
A 1947 radio adaptation of the movie, with Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo reprising their roles, was performed on The Screen Guild Theater. Because the show was a half hour, including commercials, Kaye's extraneous routines are minimized, making it more like the original story. Even closer to the original story is a 1944 radio adaptation from This Is My Best, with Robert Benchley as the daydreaming Mitty.