7.6/10
2,420
63 user 24 critic

A Thousand Clowns (1965)

A middle-aged iconoclast, doggedly avoiding the tedium of employment and conventional life, faces the prospect of losing custody of his young ward.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on his original play)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Murray Burns
...
Dr. Sandra Markowitz
...
Gene Saks ...
Leo Herman
...
Albert Amundson
Philip Bruns ...
Sloan (as Phil Bruns)
...
The Man in the Office (as John MacMartin)
...
Nick Burns / Wilbur Malcome Burns / Theodore Burns / Raphael Sabatini / Dr. Morris Fishbein / Woodrow Burns / Chevrolet Burns / Big Sam Burns / Lefty Burns
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Storyline

Twelve-year-old Nick lives with his Uncle Murray, a Mr.Micawber-like Dickensian character who keeps hoping something won't turn up. What turns up is a social worker, who falls in love with Murray and a bit in love with Nick. As the child welfare people try to force Murray to become a conventional man (as the price they demand for allowing him to keep Nick), the nephew, who until now has gloried in his Uncle's iconoclastic approach to life, tries to play mediator. But when he succeeds, he is alarmed by the uncle's willingness to cave in to society in order to save the relationship. Written by Warlen Bassham <wcb@zso.dec.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...IT'S A LIFT FOR THE SPIRITS See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 September 1966 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Mil payasos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie features a scene where Jason Robards walks in front of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts during its construction. See more »

Goofs

After Leo leaves the apartment, two different cardboard cutouts of him are used, with different facial appearances. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Murray Burns: [shouts at rows of houses] Neighbors, I have an announcement for you. I have never seen such a collection of dirty windows. Now I want to see all of you out there on the fire escape with your Mr. Clean bottles, and let's snap it up!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In opening credits: and introducing Barry Gordon as Nick. In the end credits, Gordon is credited to all the different names his character has tried: Nick Burns, Wilbur Malcome Burns, Theodore Burns, Raphael Sabatini, Dr. Morris Fishbein, Woodrow Burns, Chevrolet Burns, Big Sam Burns and Lefty Burns. In the film, however, he is just called Nick. See more »

Connections

References King Kong (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Yes, Sir, That's My Baby
(1925) (uncredited)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Sung an played on ukuleles by Jason Robards and Barry Gordon
Also sung and whistled by Jason Robards and Barbara Harris
See more »

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User Reviews

A Thousand reasons to love this film!
18 May 1999 | by (Millstone, NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

Most of us have "favorite" films that we think no one else in the world has seen. You just want to tell everyone to go out and rent it, hoping that they too will say, "Wow, what a movie! I can't believe I've never seen it before!" "A Thousand Clowns" is just such a film. Rarely seen on television, this Oscar nominated (best picture) Oscar winning (best supporting actor/Martin Balsam) film is special in many ways. Superbly cast (child actor Barry Gordon is a must see!) and smartly written. The satire and tragedy blend so well you will be caught laughing and crying at the same time throughout the movie.1000 Thumbs up!


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