7.5/10
2,965
69 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 | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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 7.4/10 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
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two bumbling magicians help a Middle Eastern prince regain his rightful throne from his despotic uncle.

Director: Charles Reisner
Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marilyn Maxwell
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
Wilson (1944)
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A chronicle of the political career of US President Woodrow Wilson.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Alexander Knox, Charles Coburn, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Ship of Fools (1965)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
The Sandpiper (1965)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A free-spirited single mother forms a connection with the wed headmaster of an Episcopal boarding school in California.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Eva Marie Saint
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A penniless woman meets a strange girl who insists she is her long-lost mother, and becomes enmeshed in a web of deception, and perhaps madness, in this powerful psychological thriller.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Mitchum, Mia Farrow
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A thirty-something square falls in love with a hippie and decides to "drop out" himself.

Director: Hy Averback
Stars: Peter Sellers, Jo Van Fleet, Leigh Taylor-Young
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An adventurer searchers for hidden treasure in the Peruvian jungles.

Director: Jerry Hopper
Stars: Charlton Heston, Robert Young, Nicole Maurey
Rio Rita (1942)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Doc and Wishey run into some Nazi-agents, who want to smuggle bombs into the USA from a Mexican border hotel.

Director: S. Sylvan Simon
Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Kathryn Grayson
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

After Leo leaves the apartment, two different cardboard cutouts of him are used, with different facial appearances. 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

Just Before the Battle, Mother
(1864) (uncredited)
Music and lyrics George Frederick Root
In the score during the opening credits, just before associate editor and associate photograper 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 69 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed