7.2/10
4,532
44 user 14 critic

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Odessa, Willy's nurse (as Rosetta Le Noire)
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Mechanic
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Mr. Walsh, Commerical Director
James Cranna ...
Mr. Schaeffer, TV Director
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T.V. Floor Manager
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Helen Clark (as Jennifer Lee)
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Mr. Gilbert, Man at Audition
Jack Bernardi ...
Man at Audition
Garn Stephens ...
Eddie, the Stage Manager
Santos Morales ...
Desk Clerk
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

30 January 1976 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three Neil Simon written films which actor-director-producer Richard Benjamin has worked on. Benjamin co-starred in The Sunshine Boys (1975) and directed The Goodbye Girl (2004) TV remake (also a producer) and the tele-movie Laughter on the 23rd Floor (2001). See more »

Goofs

Walter Matthau takes a teabag from his cup and places it into the cup of George Burns. A moment later 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 »

Quotes

Willy Clark: Oh, you a funny man, Al, a pain in the ass but a funny man.
Al Lewis: You know what your trouble is, Willy? You always took the jokes too seriously. It was just jokes. We did comedy on the stage for 43 years. I don't think you enjoyed it once.
Willy Clark: If I was there to enjoy it, I would buy a ticket.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Secrets of Dick Smith (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
With All the Sunshine Willie and Al Spread..................................
28 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

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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