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The Sunshine Boys (1975)

PG | | Comedy | 8 January 1976 (UK)
A vaudeville duo agree to reunite for a television special, but it turns out that they can't stand each other.

Director:

Herbert Ross

Writer:

Neil Simon (screenplay)
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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:
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 James Cranna ... Mr. Schaeffer, TV Director
Ron Rifkin ... T.V. Floor Manager
Jennifer Lee Pryor ... Helen Clark (as Jennifer Lee)
Fritz Feld ... Mr. Gilbert, Man at Audition
Jack Bernardi Jack Bernardi ... Man at Audition
Garn Stephens Garn Stephens ... Eddie, the Stage Manager
Santos Morales 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 twenty 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 | Plot 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 January 1976 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The music playing during the opening credits is Make 'Em Laugh, from the film Singin' in the Rain (1952). With a few minor edits to tighten it up, this appears to be the actual instrumental only playback track that would have been used while recording Donald O'Connor's vocals for the song in that film. Both films were MGM releases. See more »

Goofs

George Burns says he drove in from Jersey in a 1973 Chrysler Imperial when in fact it is a 1972 model. See more »

Quotes

Al Lewis: The man yells at me on stage and gets a million laughs. He yells at me off the stage - he gets a heart attack.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Animaniacs: The Carpool/The Sunshine Squirrels (1998) 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

 
One of Neil Simon's Best Screen Adaptations...
28 December 2005 | by ijonesiiiSee all my reviews

THE SUNSHINE BOYS was the hilarious 1975 screen adaptation of Neil Simon's play about a retired vaudevillian team, played by Walter Matthau and George Burns, who had a very bitter breakup and have been asked to reunite one more time for a television special or something like that. The problem is that the two still hate each other and want nothing to do with each other. Richard Benjamin appears as Matthau's nephew, a theatrical agent who has been given the monumental responsibility of making this reunion a reality. This warm and winning comedy is a lovely valentine to a forgotten form of entertainment...vaudeville and it works mainly thanks to one of Neil Simon's better screenplays and outstanding work by Matthau, Burns, and Benjamin. Burns won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this, but I think Matthau walks away with this film with his flawlessly hilarious performance as Willy Clark. Matthau was nominated for Best Actor but didn't stand a chance against Nicholson for ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST; however, in another year, this was an Oscar-worthy performance. Matthau commands the screen and there is not a false note in this beautifully timed performance. The scene where he is auditioning for a potato chip commercial and can't get the name of the product right is a classic. THE SUNSHINE BOYS is a warm and winning Neil Simon comedy which shines thanks to unbeatable chemistry between Matthau and Burns.


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