7.4/10
2,996
70 user 26 critic

A Thousand Clowns (1965)

A middle-aged iconoclast, doggedly avoiding the tedium of employment and conventional life, faces the prospect of losing custody of his young ward.

Director:

Fred Coe

Writers:

Herb Gardner (screenplay), Herb Gardner (based on his original play)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the early twentieth century, an artistically talented young man living in an English coal mining town is inhibited by his domineering and emotionally manipulative mother.

Director: Jack Cardiff
Stars: Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell, Wendy Hiller
Ship of Fools (1965)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A varied group of passengers boarding a ship bound for pre-WWII Germany represents a microcosm of early 1930s society.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rachel is a 35 year old school teacher who has no man in her life and lives with her mother. When a man from the big city returns and asks her out, she begins to have to make decisions about her life and where she wants it to go.

Director: Paul Newman
Stars: Joanne Woodward, James Olson, Kate Harrington
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Without hostile intent, a Soviet submarine runs aground off New England. Men are sent for a boat, but many villagers go into a tizzy, risking bloodshed.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Alan Arkin
The Dresser (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Personal Assistant Norman (Sir Tom Courtenay) of deteriorating veteran actor Sir (Albert Finney) struggles to get him through a difficult performance of King Lear.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay, Edward Fox
Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In Australia's Outback during the early twentieth century, the impoverished Carmody family lives a nomadic life out of their wagon, but the mom and son want to settle, while the dad is against it.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum, Peter Ustinov
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An ambitious young accountant plots to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears
Fanny (1961)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A love triangle between a young woman, a rich 60-something man and an aspiring sailor set in early 20th century Marseilles.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Charles Boyer
Picnic (1956)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Emotions are ignited amongst the complacent townsfolk when a handsome drifter arrives in a small Kansas community on the morning of the Labour Day picnic.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: William Holden, Kim Novak, Betty Field
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With her husband away to fight in World War II, a housewife struggles to care for their two daughters - and a pair of lodgers who have moved in - alone.

Directors: John Cromwell, Edward F. Cline, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When his apartment building is torn down, a retired lifelong New Yorker goes on a cross country odyssey with his beloved cat Tonto.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Art Carney, Ellen Burstyn, René Enríquez
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A fifteen year marriage dissolves, leaving both the husband and wife, and their four children, devastated. He's preoccupied with a career and a mistress, she with a career and caring for ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Albert Finney, Diane Keaton, Karen Allen
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jason Robards ... Murray
Barbara Harris ... Sandra
Martin Balsam ... Arnold
Gene Saks ... Leo
William Daniels ... Albert
Philip Bruns ... The Man in the Restaurant (as Phil Bruns)
John McMartin ... The Man in the Office (as John MacMartin)
Barry Gordon ... Nick Burns / Wilbur Malcome Burns / Theodore Burns / Raphael Sabatini / Dr. Morris Fishbein / Woodrow Burns / Chevrolet Burns / Big Sam Burns / Lefty Burns
Edit

Storyline

12-year-old Nick lives with his Uncle Murray, a Mr. Micawber-like Dickensian character who keeps hoping something won't turn up. What turns up is a social worker who falls in love with Murray and a bit in love with Nick. As the child-welfare people try to force Murray to become a conventional man (the price they demand for allowing him to keep Nick), the nephew, who until now has gloried in his uncle's iconoclastic approach to life, tries to play mediator. But when he succeeds, he is alarmed by the uncle's willingness to cave in to society in order to save the relationship. Written by Warlen Bassham <wcb@zso.dec.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sooner or later, you'll fall in love with 'A Thousand Clowns'! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 1966 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Mil payasos See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Harrell See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Balsam and Jason Robards would later appear together again in "All the President's Men" (1976). See more »

Goofs

As Murray puts on a shirt, his toothbrush appears and disappears in his mouth between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Murray: [shouts at rows of houses] Neighbors, I have an announcement for you. I have never seen such a collection of dirty windows. Now I want to see all of you out there on the fire escape with your Mr. Clean bottles, and let's snap it up!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In opening credits: and introducing Barry Gordon as Nick. In the end credits, Gordon is credited to all the different names his character has tried: Nick Burns, Wilbur Malcome Burns, Theodore Burns, Raphael Sabatini, Dr. Morris Fishbein, Woodrow Burns, Chevrolet Burns, Big Sam Burns and Lefty Burns. In the film, however, he is called Nick, Nicky, and Nicholas. See more »

Connections

References M (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

"Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! (The Boys Are Marching): (1864) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by George Frederick Root
In the score during the opening credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I bet you didn't know comedy could be so smart & thoughtful.
18 February 2005 | by bjeffrey66See all my reviews

It's truly a shame that this film has escaped the attention of the last few generations of movie watchers -- not only have most people not seen this film, it's likely that only a small percentage of folks have ever even heard of it. I dare say that both the character Jason Robards portrays and this film as a whole are more relevant today than half of the comedies produced 5 or 10 years ago. The bottom line is this, if you're looking for great acting and smart dialogue, and are getting tired of the 'I've-just-wasted-the-last-couple-of-hours-of-my-life' feeling that comes over today's average TV viewer or cineplex visitor, then you simply must do yourself a favor and seek out this hidden gem.


39 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 70 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed