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 »
Walter Matthau plays a professional killer going by the name of Trabucco, who is on his way to rub out gangster Rudy "Disco" Gambola, set to testify against the mob. As Trabucco heads off ... 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 »
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
How do you do, Mr. Lewis. I'm Ben Clark, Willy's nephew.
Oh?... oh! Willy's nephew Ben. Sure, hello. How are you?
Good, good. You're Willy's nephew Ben. How are you?
Fine, sir, very good. It was nice of you to see me.
Really? When was that?
[after a pause]
Heh, heh, it was nice of you to see me today.
Certainly. Today is fine. As a matter of fact, I was expecting you today.
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The Sunshine Boys is one of my favorite feel good movies. I first saw it when it as the Christmas attraction at Radio City Music Hall when it first came out and loved it ever since. I ended up seeing it 6 times in the theaters, and if it was playing today I'd go out to see it again.
Now a lot of the reviews here mentioned the wonderful performances of the leads. Matthau was brilliant, but had the misfortune of being nominated against Jack Nicholson's Oscar winning performance of Randall P. MacMurphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest. Burns did win, though Richard Benjiman deserved at least to be nominated as well. Even the smallest roles were played to perfection, like Fritz Feld auditioning for the potato chips commercial.
Which brings me to my reason for reviewing this film, the direction of the greatly underrated Herbert Ross. Ross who previously brought a two person play, "The Owl And The Pussycat" to the screen and made a full movie out of it, does it again. He opens the plays out without making them look like a photographic stage play. He fleashens out the story and the characters.
Here we're 20 minutes into the film before we get to the scene that opens the play, where Ben Clark comes to see his uncle and tell him about the comedy special. Though there are dialogue from the play during the first twenty minutes, the sequence itself is totally new. A few years ago I did see at the broadway revival of the play with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, which was wonderful. But I think that Ross and screenwriter, playwright Simon improved on it. It's just a wonderful film.
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