World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Sunshine Boys (film)

Article Id: WHEBN0020889546
Reproduction Date:

Title: The Sunshine Boys (film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Academy Award for Best Production Design, Comedy film, Neil Simon, Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Walter Matthau, George Burns, Jack Benny, Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Margaret Booth, 1996 in film
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

The Sunshine Boys (film)

The Sunshine Boys
File:Sunshine boys.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Herbert Ross
Produced by Ray Stark
Screenplay by Neil Simon
Based on The Sunshine Boys 
by Neil Simon
Starring Walter Matthau
George Burns
Richard Benjamin
Lee Meredith
Cinematography David M. Walsh
Editing by John F. Burnett
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s)
Running time 111 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Sunshine Boys is a 1975 American comedy film directed by Herbert Ross and produced by Ray Stark, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and based on the play of the same name by Neil Simon, about two legendary (and cranky) comics brought together for a reunion and revival of their famous act. The cast included real-life experienced vaudevillian actor George Burns as Lewis, Walter Matthau as Clark, and Richard Benjamin as Ben, with Lee Meredith, F. Murray Abraham, Rosetta LeNoire, Howard Hesseman, and Ron Rifkin in supporting roles. This would be Matthau's last Neil Simon movie until 1982's I Ought to Be in Pictures with Ann-Margret and Dinah Manoff.

Woody Allen originally was asked to direct, but he was more interested in playing the role of Lewis and declined the offer. Twenty years later, he would be cast as Lewis in a television adaptation.[1]

Initially, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby were proposed for the leads, but Simon was opposed to the idea, as he felt the roles required Jewish comedians.[2] Several actors, including Groucho Marx and Phil Silvers were considered and the roles eventually were given to real-life vaudevillian veterans Red Skelton and Jack Benny.

Benny was forced to withdraw after being diagnosed with the pancreatic cancer that would soon kill him and recommended his friend and fellow real-life vaudevillian veteran Burns, who had not been in a film since 1939, for the role.[3] Skelton declined after realizing his income was higher performing his stand up comedy, than what he was offered for the film; and, he was replaced by the younger Matthau.[2] Burns' Academy Award-winning role revived his career and redefined his popular image as a remarkably active, older comedy star.

Plot

Al Lewis (George Burns) and Willy Clark (Walter Matthau) are two old comedians who were once a popular vaudeville comedy act known as "Lewis and Clark" and also called the Sunshine Boys. After 43 years together, they parted ways 11 years ago on unfriendly terms and have not spoken to each other since then. The break-up was due, in part, to Al's intent to retire and Willy's desire to continue performing. Willy's nephew, Ben (Richard Benjamin), a talent agent, tries finding work for Willy, which proves difficult due to Willy's age.

When one of the major networks decides to air a program on the history of comedy and wants the Sunshine Boys to reunite for the show, Ben tries securing the duo's cooperation one last time. Ben tries managing the individual quirks of two old men in their twilight years, including omitting the abuse and insults each used in discussing the other with him, and diplomatically portraying each as anxious to do the "Doctor Sketch" for an ABC special to give the appearance of harmony.

An attempt to rehearse the Doctor Sketch at Willy's apartment starts with the two grudgingly getting re-acquainted, but goes only as far as Al entering the doctor's (Willy's) office, before Willy decides to change the scripted long-established "Come in" to "Enter!" This results in a loud shouting argument and Al's stormy departure.

Ben has to patch up and salvage the situation, despite the objections of Al's daughter to her father being bothered any more about the special and manages to get them in the studio. In the dressing room, they do not speak to each other as persons, just like they did in the last year they did their sketches. There is unpleasantness when Willy carelessly dumps makeup jars on Al, followed by Willy's usual trouble with doors, in the dressing room.

After Phyllis Diller finishes her scene and Steve Allen speaks his introduction, the Doctor Sketch starts. It flows smoothly until Willy starts shouting about Al's spitting on him and poking him in the chest. Despite Ben and the staff trying to restore order, Willy is finally storming off the set, shouting accusations and abuse, and Al is also leaving (finding it impossible to work with the man). In the stairwell, Willy's ongoing temper tantrum results in him being felled by a serious heart attack.

Willy recovers, first in the hospital and then at home with a private nurse, with whom he argues. Ben visits and tells him that he has to retire now. He has in mind an actor's retirement home. Al is also going to move into the same retirement home, as his daughter is going to have a baby, and she will need his room. The two meet again at Willy's apartment, in attempts to finally establish a friendship.

Cast

Awards and nominations

The film won an Academy Award and was nominated for three others:[4]

References

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
de:Die Sunny Boys

pl:Promienni chłopcy fr:Ennemis comme avant id:The Sunshine Boys (Film)

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.