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The Sunshine Boys (1975)

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




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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Clark
Nurse in Sketch (Miss McIntosh)
Mrs. Doris Green, Al's Daughter
Odessa, Willy's nurse (as Rosetta Le Noire)
Mr. Walsh, Commerical Director
James Cranna ...
Mr. Schaeffer, TV Director
T.V. Floor Manager
Helen Clark
Mr. Gilbert, Man at Audition
Jack Bernardi ...
Man at Audition
Garn Stephens ...
Eddie, the Stage Manager
Santos Morales ...
Desk Clerk


Lewis and Clark were famous comedians during the vaudeville era; off-stage, though, they couldn't stand each other and haven't spoken in over 20 years. Ben, Willy Clark's nephew, is the producer of a variety show that wants to feature a reunion of the classic duo. How will Ben convince the crotchety old comedians to put aside their differences before the big show? Written by Mike Konczewski

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For the price of a movie, you'll feel like a million!




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 January 1976 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actor George Burns turned up at rehearsals having rote-learned the entire film script by heart. Burns had figured that this would make it harder for the producers to fire him if they had wanted to. See more »


Walter Matthau takes a teabag from his cup and places it into the cup of George Burns. A moment later George Burns reaches for the teabag to remove it but the string has changed direction and is hanging down from the other side of the cup. See more »


Willy Clark: Well, you know, people don't go out to New Jersey unless they have to.
See more »


Referenced in The 50th Annual Academy Awards (1978) See more »


Make 'Em Laugh
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Arranged by Conrad Salinger
See more »

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User Reviews

Matthau-Burns-Simon--A Winning Troika
13 July 2000 | by (Greenbelt, MD) – See all my reviews

Simon's carefully written dialogues are truly electrified by Matthau and Burns. You can literally hear the script crackle. There are few movies out there that can develop such a relationship between the actors and the script. For example, the famed reunion scene could have been a lot duller with less-quality actors involved. Matthau seems to had been born to play Willie Clark (of course, Oscar moreso in the Odd Couple), and with all of the little idiosyncracies and mannerisms that Matthau crams into the character (the line where he is arguing that he is with it since he lives in the city whereas Lewis lives in the country that Lewis is "out of touch" is the quintessential example of this) make this one of the best performances I've ever seen of any actor in any role, be it comedic or drama or whatever else. Period. Matthau and Burns work excellently together; the contrast they portray accentuates Simon's superb knack at creating comedic conflict. This movie is simply one of the ultimate "must-sees" and does demand a rightful prestigious place in the pages of film history.

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