7.4/10
3,218
74 user 30 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 »

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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
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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:

...IT'S LAUGHTER FOR EVERYONE!! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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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!
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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

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
In the score as Murray and Sondra kiss
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User Reviews

A Thousand reasons to love this film!
18 May 1999 | by jayrnjSee all my reviews

Most of us have "favorite" films that we think no one else in the world has seen. You just want to tell everyone to go out and rent it, hoping that they too will say, "Wow, what a movie! I can't believe I've never seen it before!" "A Thousand Clowns" is just such a film. Rarely seen on television, this Oscar nominated (best picture) Oscar winning (best supporting actor/Martin Balsam) film is special in many ways. Superbly cast (child actor Barry Gordon is a must see!) and smartly written. The satire and tragedy blend so well you will be caught laughing and crying at the same time throughout the movie.1000 Thumbs up!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 1966 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

A Thousand Clowns See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,232,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Harrell See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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