Once a famous Ziegfeld star, Dodo Delwyn, is reduced to playing clowns in burlesque and amusement parks as a result of his drinking. His son Little Dink idolizes Dodo and faithfully ...
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Ambrose C. Park (Red Skelton), left on a park bench as an infant with an impulsive need to find his parents, is an assistant to a diamond cutter. Shyster lawyer Remlick (James Whitmore), in... See full summary »
Jan Stewart, a new teacher at The Oaks, a boys' boarding school, becomes instructor and mother-figure to a class of twelve. She must overcome the disapproval of Joe Hargrave, head of the ... See full summary »
Once a famous Ziegfeld star, Dodo Delwyn, is reduced to playing clowns in burlesque and amusement parks as a result of his drinking. His son Little Dink idolizes Dodo and faithfully believes in a comeback. He persuades "Uncle" Goldie, Dodo's agent in the good old days, to find a booking for Dodo. He can't, and Dink is sent to live with his remarried-and-wealthy mother, Paula. The unhappy Dink runs back to his father. His welcome return gives Dodo the courage needed to try a knockabout TV show offered by Goldie. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Back during WWII, there was a famous phrase that the government posted on billboards. It was encouraging folks to drive less due to rationing and the need for fuel for the military. It read 'Was this trip really necessary?'--and it reminds me of this movie. "The Clown" is a film that makes me wonder if it was necessary in the first place to make. After all, it's a remake of the great Wallace Beery/Jackie Cooper film "The Champ"--and it's no better than the original in any way. In fact, in some ways, it's not nearly as good. Mich of it is because too often, it's a line-by-line remake and shows little originality on its own.
The film is so very much like the original. The big difference is that Skelton plays Dodo Delwyn, a washed up alcoholic stage comedian instead of a boxer--otherwise it IS "The Champ". Dodo's son Dink lives with him but Dodo is a terrible father who neglects the boy's education, gambles away their money and constantly disappoints the kid. However, Dodo's ex-wife (Jane Greer) would like to have her son, Dink, back--and she and her new husband can provide the boy the stability the boy needs. However, Dink worships his father and insists on staying with this ne'er do well. Is there any hope for this father-son duo?
The plot idea is good--and that's probably why "The Champ" was an audience favorite and Oscar-winner. So, even if the movie is totally unoriginal, it is good. It's also nice seeing Red doing skits very typical of his TV series. But considering how much better the original is and how unneeded "The Clown" was, I'd say just see the earlier film and save your energy for one of Red's better films ("The Yellow Cab Man" is nice).
By the way, the scene with Red doing ballet is taken from his earlier film "Bathing Beauty". Also, during the crap game scene, note a young Charles Bronson in his pre-star days.
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