A Thousand Clowns (1965)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
In this film, TV writer Murray Burns carries on a nonconformist existence with his 12-year-old nephew Nick. Murray hasn't legally adopted Nick, which brings him to the attention of social workers Sandra and Albert. While Albert is disgusted by Murray's irreverence, Sandra falls in love with the free-spirited writer.
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Critic Reviews for A Thousand Clowns
... there's something disingenuous about presenting defiant purposelessness and unemployment as an act of courage.
Robard's performance is loud, playing-to-the-audience brash, and his version of nonconformist behavior is obnoxiously unfunny.
This serio comedy about nonconformity is well acted by Jason Robards and the others, but it's still a play
Oscar caliber performances; based on hit Broadway play
The humor is still surprising, and Mr. Robards is still full of spice with his clownish wise-cracks and the map of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey stamped all over his face.
Timeless is an adjective that's tossed around too frequently, but A Thousand Clowns more than qualifies.
The mechanics of the Herb Gardner script show through much too clearly for this to qualify as anything other than shrewdly programmed entertainment.
Audience Reviews for A Thousand Clowns
Jason Robards is a middle-aged, unemployed bachelor who is raising his 12-year-old nephew (Barry Gordon) in the heart of New York City. When confronted by representatives from NY social services, Robards is faced with the choice of either conforming to "acceptable" standards (getting a job) or risk losing his nephew to the bureaucracy of the child welfare system.
I have an affinity for cerebral comedies and this is definitely a good example. It stimulates the mind, tickles the funny bone and touches the heart.
Jason Robards and Barry Gordon are astounding in this film. Funny, but at the same time, an air of sadness throughout the entire film.More
Here's another obscure favorite movie. It has a precocious young man being raised by an uncle who lives by his own rules. Through much of the movie, the boy seems like the parent and the uncle seems like the child. Before long a couple of social workers bring a dose of reality (and a surprise romance). It's about the tragedy of being a care-free individual and having to take on the dull, mechanical responsibilities of adulthood. Very funny- also based on a stage play. A hidden gem.More
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