IMDb > A Thousand Clowns (1965)
A Thousand Clowns
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A Thousand Clowns (1965) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   2,203 votes »
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Down 36% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Herb Gardner (screenplay)
Herb Gardner (based on his original play)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Thousand Clowns on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 September 1966 (Finland) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
...IT'S LAUGHTER FOR EVERYONE!! See more »
Plot:
A middle-aged iconoclast, doggedly avoiding the tedium of employment and conventional life, faces the prospect of losing custody of his young ward. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
My favorite movie, and it gets better with each viewing See more (59 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jason Robards ... Murray

Barbara Harris ... Sandra

Martin Balsam ... Arnold
Gene Saks ... Leo

William Daniels ... Albert
Philip Bruns ... The Man in The Restaurant (as Phil Bruns)

John McMartin ... The Man in the Office (as John Macmartin)

Barry Gordon ... Nick Burns / Wilbur Malcome Burns / Theodore Burns / Raphael Sabatini / Dr. Morris Fishbein / Woodrow Burns / Chevrolet Burns / Big Sam Burns / Lefty Burns

Directed by
Fred Coe 
 
Writing credits
Herb Gardner (screenplay)

Herb Gardner (based on his original play)

Produced by
Fred Coe .... producer
Herb Gardner .... associate producer
Ralph Rosenblum .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Don Walker (musical score by)
 
Cinematography by
Arthur J. Ornitz (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Ralph Rosenblum (edited by)
 
Set Decoration by
George DeTitta Sr. (uncredited)
Herbert F. Mulligan (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Ruth Morley 
 
Makeup Department
Irving Buchman .... makeup
Charles Fialla .... hairdresser
 
Production Management
Henry Spitz .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tony Belletier .... second assistant director
Dan Eriksen .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Willie Lucan .... scenic artist
Burr Smidt .... sets designed by
 
Sound Department
Hugh A. Robertson .... sound editor (as Hugh A. Robertson Jr.)
Jim Shields .... sound mixer (as James Shields)
Dick Vorisek .... sound recordist (as Richard Vorisek)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Joe Coffey .... associate photographer
Albert Taffet .... camera operator
Willie Meyerhoff .... grip (uncredited)
Willie Meyerhoff .... lighting (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bert Matthews .... wardrobe
Flo Transfield .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Sheila Bakerman .... assistant editor
Edward Beyer .... associate editor
 
Music Department
Gerald B. Greenberg .... music editor (as Gerry Greenberg)
Harold Hastings .... conducted by
 
Other crew
Mel Howard .... production assistant
Betty Todd .... script supervisor
Ted Trinkaus .... titles
Belle Iacobellis .... production secretary (uncredited)
Allan Wertheim .... set production assistant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
118 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA)
Certification:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Film debut of Barbara Harris.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Just Before the Battle, MotherSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
37 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
My favorite movie, and it gets better with each viewing, 21 January 2006
Author: Lisa Lapp from Pennsylvania, U.S.

"A Thousand Clowns" has been my favorite movie for 30 years -- not because it's the world's finest work of cinema (it's not; mainly it's a well-filmed play -- good, but not a masterpiece). What makes it my favorite is that the story is profoundly human, the script is unique and genuinely witty, the performances are delightful, and -- most importantly -- it's a movie that takes on new meaning as you mature.

When I first saw it I was in college and Murray was my hero; his crisis, to me, was all about selling out. Later, after I had started a family, Murray's story seemed less about selling out than about owning up to his devotion to his nephew. By the time I showed this movie to my teenage children, I had come to see Murray's brother -- the master compromiser -- as the hero. Now my children are grown, and I just watched it again -- and for the first time I saw that the buttoned-up male social worker (Mr. Amundson, played by William Daniels), shows great heart in the second act and is the only character who aims at all times to do what he knows is right. Amundson hasn't become my hero, but I saw him as a good man this time -- and I never as a young viewer imagined that he was anything but laughable. Also on this viewing, I came full circle to see that Murray really IS the hero in this story -- not because he's a charming nonconformist but because he does achieve redemption.

What keeps this movie so important for me is that, even after raising children, I still respect Murray's conflict and so I think his redemption really is heroic -- though no more heroic than any parent's true devotion. (If you don't respect Murray's conflict -- if conformity has never bothered you, or if you think he's just a bum, period -- then you might not enjoy this movie.)

This movie grows up with you, but some things remains constant with every viewing: the film's stunning wit, its passion for authenticity (Murray's speech on the fire escape is a deeply moving plea to wake up and live), and its charmed performances. If you like Jason Robards, you will love him in this film. And Gene Saks, as the TV star Chuckles the Chipmunk, does some of the best comedy work I've seen anywhere. (Notice his timing on the line, "She's done a wonderful job," and the ridiculous walk he came up with for the line, "You told me her name was Minnie Mouse!")

As a bonus, this movie gives you a sidewalk-level, free-wheeling view of Manhattan when it wasn't so overpopulated and Lincoln Center was just being built. It's enough to make you want to quit your job and start collecting eagles.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (59 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for A Thousand Clowns (1965)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I was named after this movie (character) murreyb
Murray, we gotta get rid of him! Mttdolson-134-791727
Why is it called A Thousand Clowns? AccidntlTourist
Song that Jason Robards sang -with banjo accompaniment jacandjim
Cast verified as complete? Galllan
Barry Gordon rickmalibu1
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