The Sunshine Boys is one of my favorite feel good movies. I first saw it when it as the Christmas attraction at Radio City Music Hall when it first came out and loved it ever since. I ended up seeing it 6 times in the theaters, and if it was playing today I'd go out to see it again. Now a lot of the reviews here mentioned the wonderful performances of the leads. Matthau was brilliant, but had the misfortune of being nominated against Jack Nicholson's Oscar winning performance of Randall P. MacMurphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest. Burns did win, though Richard Benjiman deserved at least to be nominated as well. Even the smallest roles were played to perfection, like Fritz Feld auditioning for the potato chips commercial. Which brings me to my reason for reviewing this film, the direction of the greatly underrated Herbert Ross. Ross who previously brought a two person play, "The Owl And The Pussycat" to the screen and made a full movie out of it, does it again. He opens the plays out without making them look like a photographic stage play. He fleashens out the story and the characters. Here we're 20 minutes into the film before we get to the scene that opens the play, where Ben Clark comes to see his uncle and tell him about the comedy special. Though there are dialogue from the play during the first twenty minutes, the sequence itself is totally new. A few years ago I did see at the broadway revival of the play with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, which was wonderful. But I think that Ross and screenwriter, playwright Simon improved on it. It's just a wonderful film.
The Sunshine Boys
The Sunshine Boys
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 20 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?
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