Joseph Kotcher, a retired traveling salesman, lives with his son Gerald and daughter-in-law Wilma in Los Angeles. He dotes upon his young grandson Duncan irritating high-strung Wilma to the... See full summary »
Grandmother has nothing to say when Libby tells her that she is off to LA to look up Dad, a Hollywood screenwriter. Grandmother has been in a New York cemetery for six years and Dad has ... See full summary »
Film version of the Neil Simon play has three separate acts set in the same hotel suite in New York's Plaza Hotel with Walter Matthau in a triple role. In the first, Karen Nash tries to get... See full summary »
Unassuming and single thirty-three year old Tillie Shlain is at that phase of her life of being known as a soon to be spinster if she doesn't marry soon. She isn't looking forward to ... See full summary »
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
Based on the lives and careers of vaudeville comics Joe Smith and Charles Dale (né Sultzer and Marks). Unlike the characters in the Broadway play and later film, Smith and Dale were almost inseparable friends. In fact, when Dale died in 1971, Smith commissioned a single tombstone to be prepared for them both, ordering that the inscription read "Smith and Dale." See more »
[talking about his ex-partner, Al Lewis]
As an act, nobody could touch him. As a human being, nobody WANTED to touch him!
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With All the Sunshine Willie and Al Spread..................................
Taking over roles that Jack Albertson and Sam Levene played on Broadway, Walter Matthau and George Burns play a couple of old time vaudeville comics, a team in the tradition of Joe Smith and Charles Dale who seem to have a differing outlook on life.
Walter Matthau can't stop working, the man has never learned to relax, take some time and smell the roses. He's a crotchety old cuss whose best days are behind him and his nephew and agent Richard Benjamin is finding less and less work for him.
What hurt him badly was that some 15 years earlier his partner George Burns decided to retire and spend some time with his family. A workaholic like Matthau can't comprehend it and take Burns's decision personally.
Benjamin hits on a brain storm, reunite the guys and do it on a national television special. What happens here is pretty hilarious.
The Sunshine Boys is also a sad, bittersweet story as well about old age. Matthau is on screen for most of the film, but it's Burns who got the kudos in the form of an Oscar at the ripe old age of 79.
Burns brought a bit of the personal into this film as well. As we all know he was the straight man of the wonderful comedy team of Burns&Allen who the Monty Python troop borrowed a lot from. In 1958 due to health reasons, Gracie Allen retired and George kept going right up to the age of 100. Or at least pretty close to as an active performer.
The Sunshine Boys is based on the team of Smith&Dale however and if you like The Sunshine Boys I strongly recommend you see Two Tickets to Broadway for a look at a pair of guys who were entertaining the American public at the turn of the last century. The doctor sketch that Matthau and Burns do is directly from their material.
And I do think you will like The Sunshine Boys.
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