MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 15,872 this week

A Thousand Clowns (1965)

7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,206 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 24 critic

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)
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 09 Apr 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 27 Nov 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 12 Feb 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 05 Mar 2013
 
a list of 31 titles
created 1 week ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Thousand Clowns (1965)

A Thousand Clowns (1965) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Thousand Clowns.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

A Moon for the Misbegotten (TV Movie 1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Theatrical sparks flew when veteran Eugene O'Neill interpreters Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst joined forces in the celebrated 1973 revival of O'Neill's tender semi-autobiographical ... See full summary »

Directors: José Quintero, Gordon Rigsby
Stars: Jason Robards, Colleen Dewhurst, Ed Flanders
Ship of Fools (1965)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

1933: An ocean liner belonging to a second-rate German company is making a twenty-six day voyage from Veracruz, Mexico to Bremerhaven, Germany. Along the way it will stop in Cuba to pick up... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer
The Best Man (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The two front runners for their party's Presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the ex-President's endorsement.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A vaudeville duo agree to reunite for a TV special, but it turns out that they can't stand each other.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Walter Matthau, George Burns, Richard Benjamin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Rachel is a 35 year old school teacher who has no man in her life and lives with her mother. When a man from the big city returns and asks her out, she begins to have to make decisions ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Newman
Stars: Joanne Woodward, James Olson, Kate Harrington
Georgy Girl (1966)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A homely but vivacious young woman dodges the amorous attentions of her father's middle-aged employer while striving to capture some of the glamorous life of her swinging London roommate.

Director: Silvio Narizzano
Stars: James Mason, Alan Bates, Lynn Redgrave
Darling (1965)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A beautiful but amoral model sleeps her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Rachel arrives in New York from her Amish community intent on becoming a dancer. Unfortunately Billy Minsky's Burlesque is hardly the place for her Dances From The Bible. But the show's ... See full summary »

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Jason Robards, Britt Ekland, Norman Wisdom
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A blind, uneducated white girl is befriended by a black man, who becomes determined to help her escape her impoverished and abusive home life.

Director: Guy Green
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Shelley Winters, Elizabeth Hartman
Sayonara (1957)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A US air force major in Kobe confronts his own opposition to marriages between American servicemen and Japanese women when he falls for a beautiful performer.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Marlon Brando, Ricardo Montalban, Patricia Owens
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A traveling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Without hostile intent, a Soviet sub runs aground off New England. Men are sent for a boat, but many villagers go into a tizzy, risking bloodshed.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Alan Arkin
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Murray
...
Sandra
...
Arnold
Gene Saks ...
Leo
...
Albert
Philip Bruns ...
The Man in The Restaurant (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
Edit

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:

Sooner or later, you'll fall in love with 'A Thousand Clowns'! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 September 1966 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Des clowns par milliers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Two of the names Nick adopted temporarily are those of specific real people. Dr. Morris Fishbein was the very controversial editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) from 1924 to 1950. In 1947 Time Magazine described him as "the nation's most ubiquitous, the most widely maligned, and perhaps most influential medico." Rafael Sabatini was an author, and a few of his most popular novels were adapted for film. These films include Captain Blood (1935) and Scaramouche (1952). See more »

Goofs

As Murray puts on a shirt, his toothbrush appears and disappears in his mouth between shots. 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 Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
In the score as Murray and Sondra kiss
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Delightful and thought-provoking
10 August 2003 | by (Dayton, Ohio) – See all my reviews

I loved this movie passionately the first time I saw it, which was almost 30 years ago, and I love it every single time I watch it. Certainly aspects of it have gotten more meaningful as I've gotten older. The cast, full of people I had no idea of at the age of 10, turned out to be full of some of my all-time favorite actors (William Daniels, Barbara Harris, Jason Robards...how can you go wrong?)

I think some of the reviewers here (especially the ones giving it mixed reviews) are under the impression that the viewer is supposed to view Murray as a totally sympathetic character. He's not, and I don't think he's intended to be. Murray is really fun to be around for over half the movie; you're rooting for him all the way. As Sandy says, "No wonder Nick loves it here. I'd love to live here too if I were eleven years old!" When it's really time for Murray to settle down and do something to keep Nick, he can't bring himself to do it, and his free-spirited ways start looking, to the objective viewer, shallow and irresponsible. Murray needs to grow up, and do it fast, and growing up means compromising. That's the lesson; not that Murray was right all along, but that you can't be completely free if you do in fact have something left to lose, and Murray does. But life isn't a black and white choice between happiness and unhappiness, it's a continuum, and sometimes "doing the best you can" is enough.

I found it truly interesting that, throughout the movie, Nick was what Murray describes as "a middle-aged kid," seeming older than Murray himself. At the end, when Murray grows up, Nick seems to revert. He throws a full-scale tantrum, and that's the first time in the whole movie I remembered he was actually a child. I think that's a testament to Gordon's skill as an actor.

For anyone who read/saw the play: the director didn't seem to quite "get" the point of the play, and changed the end of the first and second (or is it second/third? I don't have it in front of me) to make the end of the movie more of a downer than the play. I never quite forgave him for that. The end of the play suggested that compromises have to be made, life goes on and it can even be good. The end of the movie seems to suggest that the last scene was unsubtly a "sell-out." I disagree. But I still loved the movie.

"Getting back to reality..." "I'll only go as a tourist!"


44 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why is it called A Thousand Clowns? AccidntlTourist
Locations Kathryn-3
How I just saw it jcoonrod
Dixieland 'Stars And Stripes Forever' In Film surf_sussman
Song that Jason Robards sang -with banjo accompaniment jacandjim
Test for Humanity rob-774
Discuss A Thousand Clowns (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?