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The Sunshine Boys
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The Sunshine Boys (1975/I) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 18 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Sunshine Boys -- Two veteran vaudeville partners reunite in this remake of the hysterical play by Neil Simon.
The Sunshine Boys -- George Burns ("Oh, God!") won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as one of two feuding vaudevillian actors who are reunited for a television comeback.

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   3,761 votes »
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Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Neil Simon (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Sunshine Boys on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 January 1976 (Denmark) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
For the price of a movie, you'll feel like a million!
Plot:
A vaudeville duo agree to reunite for a TV special, but it turns out that they can't stand each other. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(51 articles)
Costume Designer Patricia Norris Dies at 83
 (From Variety - TV News. 4 March 2015, 9:59 AM, PST)

Costume Designer Patricia Norris Dies at 83
 (From Variety - Film News. 4 March 2015, 9:59 AM, PST)

The 10 Most Badass Oscar Speeches Ever
 (From Hitfix. 16 January 2015, 5:27 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
The Final "Voyage of Discovery" of Lewis and Clark See more (39 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Walter Matthau ... Willy Clark

George Burns ... Al Lewis

Richard Benjamin ... Ben Clark

Lee Meredith ... Nurse in Sketch (Miss McIntosh)

Carol Arthur ... Mrs. Doris Green, Al's Daughter

Rosetta LeNoire ... Odessa, Willy's nurse (as Rosetta Le Noire)

F. Murray Abraham ... Mechanic

Howard Hesseman ... Mr. Walsh, Commerical Director
James Cranna ... Mr. Schaeffer, TV Director

Ron Rifkin ... T.V. Floor Manager

Jennifer Lee ... Helen Clark
Fritz Feld ... Mr. Gilbert, Man at Audition
Jack Bernardi ... Man at Audition
Garn Stephens ... Eddie, the Stage Manager
Santos Morales ... Desk Clerk

Archie Hahn ... Assistant at Audition
Sid Gould ... Patient
Tom Spratley ... Card Player
Rashel Novikoff ... Woman in Hotel
Sammy Smith ... Man on Street
Dan Resin ... Mr. Ferranti, Actor's Fund Home Director
Milt Kogan ... Doctor
Bob Goldstein ... Waiter
Walter Stocker ... T.V. Executive
Duchess Dale ... Ben's Secretary
Bill Reddick ... Announcer
Eddie Villery ... Flower Delivery Boy
Gary K. Steven ... Boy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Steve Allen ... Narrator on Fictional TV Program (uncredited)

Phyllis Diller ... Perforfmer on Fictional TV Program (uncredited)

Lois Hamilton ... (uncredited)
Lauren Simon ... Woman in Lobby (uncredited)

Directed by
Herbert Ross 
 
Writing credits
Neil Simon (screenplay)

Neil Simon  play (uncredited)

Produced by
Roger M. Rothstein .... associate producer
Ray Stark .... producer
 
Cinematography by
David M. Walsh (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
John F. Burnett 
 
Casting by
Jennifer Shull 
 
Production Design by
Albert Brenner 
 
Set Decoration by
Marvin March 
 
Costume Design by
Patricia Norris (costumes) (as Pat Norris)
 
Makeup Department
Dick Smith .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gary Daigler .... second assistant director
Jack Roe .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Stephen Myles Berger .... assistant art director (as Steve Berger)
Dennis J. Parrish .... property master
 
Sound Department
Jerry Jost .... sound
Harry W. Tetrick .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Roger Shearman .... camera operator (as Roger Shearman Jr.)
Mel Traxel .... still photographer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Seth Banks .... costumer: men
 
Editorial Department
Margaret Booth .... supervising editor
Patrick M. Crawford .... assistant editor
Michael A. Stevenson .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Harry V. Lojewski .... music supervisor
 
Other crew
Frank Bueno .... assistant to producer
Tony Elmaleh .... dialogue coach
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Regina Gruss .... unit publicist
Nora Kaye .... assistant: Mr. Ross
Marshall Schlom .... script supervisor
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
111 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
First feature film for George Burns for thirty-six years. Burns had not appeared in a movie since 1939 where he had starred in Honolulu (1939). The picture was considered Burns comeback movie, the comeback being considered one of the most significant ever in Hollywood film history.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
Ben Clark:It's a very happy moment for me.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The George Burns Special (1976) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Make 'Em LaughSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
The Final "Voyage of Discovery" of Lewis and Clark, 12 February 2006
Author: theowinthrop from United States

Neil Simon's THE ODD COUPLE set up a model for many of his later plays. Felix Unger and Oscar Madison were the unsuitably paired roommates in the original, the former being picky and neat, the latter being slovenly and loose. Simon would rewrite (less successfully) the play in the 1990s as THE NEW ODD COUPLE, with female roommates. He made it a mixed couple (a woman with her daughter, and a man) in THE GOODBYE GIRLS. He also gave it an additional twist in 1973 with THE SUNSHINE BOYS, a Broadway hit starring Jack Alberson and Sam Levine as Al Lewis and Willie Clark, the aged, semi-retired Vaudevillians. Here the "apartment" problem is reduced to a teaming of two men who can't stand each other. The 1976 film starred Walter Matthau as Willie, and George Burns as Al.

In actuality, Al probably does not think totally badly of Willie - Willie is pathological on the subject of Al. First Al had little habits, such as accidentally spitting slightly when pronouncing words beginning with the letter "t", and slightly jabbing Willie with his index finger, on stage. Secondly, Al retired when his wife died. Willie was not ready to retire (and has been forcing his nephew and agent, Ben (Richard Benjamin) to try to get him jobs in commercials. But Willie can't remember lines unless they are funny, and keeps flubbing them. So he rarely is able to stay to the end of a rehearsal for a commercial.

Ben is asked to get the two back together for a live scene of their most famous sketch on a television show about American Comedy. He does bring Al to see Willie, and the sparks begin flying, as neither can figure out what the other is doing (and this is just in rehearsal. On top of that, Willie is insisting on changes (minor ones, but they throw off Al) such as saying "ENTER!!!" when Al knocks on the door. The initial rehearsal is a failure, but Ben manages to get them to the taping of the show. The question is if they will complete the scene in the finished program or will Willie wring Al's neck?

The three leads, Matthau, Burns, and Benjamin, do very well with the one-liners, frequently reminiscent of vaudeville patter (example: "Chest pains...I'm getting chest pains Uncle Willie. Every Thursday I come here and get chest pains!" "So, come on Fridays!"). Benjamin strives to prove his deep affection for his uncle, although Matthau's rough outer shell makes it difficult (he only smooths down when he discusses the glory days of vaudeville). Matthau has a little better grasp on reality (at first) than Burns, who seems senile by his repeating himself - but in actuality Matthau's sense of rejection by the world that once applauded him make him less willing to behave properly. Burns is not senile - he takes things slowly. But he seems far happier in accepting his retirement.

I call this a final "Voyage of Discovery" for our modern Lewis and Clark. Al and Willie transcend their old skits, as they gradually end up realizing that they have more in common in their old age than they thought. Even the irascible Willie admits that Al may be (to him) a pain in the ass, but he was a funny man.

Burns was not the original choice for the part of "Al Lewis" (supposedly Dale of the team Smith and Dale). Jack Benny was. Benny probably would have done a good job, but ill-health forced him out (he died in 1975). Burns (whose last involvement in any film was in THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC in 1956 as the narrator) turned in such a fine performance that he got the "Oscar" for best supporting actor, and was to have a career in movies in the next decade in such films as OH GOD!; OH GOD, YOU DEVIL; and GOING IN STYLE. He died in 1996 age 100, having proved that he was more than just a brilliant straight man for his wife Gracie Allan.

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