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Sunshine Boys
     

The Sunshine Boys

4.5 2
Director: Herbert Ross,

Cast: Herbert Ross, Walter Matthau, George Burns, Richard Benjamin

 

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In this 1975 adaptation of Neil Simon's stage play, director Herbert Ross presents the story of two old-time Vaudvillians played by Walter Matthau and George Burns in his first starring role since 1939's Honolulu. After decades apart, the cantankerous duo is persuaded to reunite for a television special despite the fact that they hate each other. Richard

Overview

In this 1975 adaptation of Neil Simon's stage play, director Herbert Ross presents the story of two old-time Vaudvillians played by Walter Matthau and George Burns in his first starring role since 1939's Honolulu. After decades apart, the cantankerous duo is persuaded to reunite for a television special despite the fact that they hate each other. Richard Benjamin co-stars as Matthau's nephew, who has the responsibility of making sure the comedians go through with the show and don't kill each other in the process. Nominated for four Academy Awards, Burns took home the statue for Best Supporting Actor.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Probably no other playwright of recent times has understood the importance of structure and conflict more than Neil Simon -- not to mention the mechanics of building a laugh. While this has a down side -- sometimes Simon is slavishly dedicated to form, with the result that he forgets to fill in his characters or to cover up the machinery and artifice -- The Sunshine Boys finds Simon operating at near-peak form. As with The Odd Couple, he reveals a special flair for combustible male-to-male relationships; his eye (and ear) for the ways in which men constantly compete with each other is in especially fine form. And as usual, there are plenty of jokes - most of them good -- to keep things lively. Herbert Ross's direction is smooth and polished and adeptly makes the change of tone in the last third seem fairly natural; if it lacks distinction, it does a marvelous job of serving Simon's script and showcasing the talents of its stars. Those stars do not disappoint, either. Walter Matthau -- playing considerably older than he was, but then it often seems that Matthau was born an old man anyway -- is a cantankerous, wily joy, spitting out his lines with an invigorating venom and employing his unique take on physical comedy to good effect. George Burns matches him step for step -- and betters him occasionally, replacing Matthau's venom with an acidity that cuts deeper. His ease before the camera masks the amount of care and work that lie underneath his portrayal. Both stars would follow Boys with two big commercial hits, Oh God for Burns and The Bad News Bears for Matthau.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/06/2014
UPC:
0888574051099
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Archives
Sales rank:
27,600

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Walter Matthau Willy Clark
George Burns Al Lewis
Richard Benjamin Ben Clark
Lee Meredith Nurse in Sketch
Carol Arthur Lewis' Daughter Doris
Rosetta Le Noire Nurse
Jennifer Lee Ben's Wife Helen
Howard Hesseman Commercial Director
Steve Allen Himself
Phyllis Diller Herself
F. Murray Abraham Mechanic
Ron Rifkin TV Floor Manager
Fritz Feld Man at Audition
Jack Bernardi Men at Audition
Garn Stephens Stage Manager
Santos Morales Desk Clerk
Archie Hahn Assistant at Audition
Sid Gould Patient
Tom Spratley Card Player
Rashel Novikoff Woman in Hotel
Sammy Smith Man on Street
Dan Resin Mr. Ferranti
Milt [Lewis] Kogan Doctor
Bob Goldstein Waiter
Walter Stocker TV Executive
Bill Reddick Announcer
Eddie Villery Delivery Boy
James Cranna TV Director
Whoopi Goldberg Nurse

Technical Credits
Herbert Ross Director
Seth Banks Costumes/Costume Designer
Stephen Myles Berger Production Designer
Margaret Booth Editor
Albert Brenner Production Designer
John F. Burnett Editor
Dick Smith Makeup Special Effects
Jerry Jost Sound/Sound Designer
Harry V. Lojewski Musical Direction/Supervision
Marvin March Set Decoration/Design
Pat Norris Costumes/Costume Designer
Jack Roe Asst. Director
Neil Simon Screenwriter
Ray Stark Producer
Harry W. Tetrick Sound/Sound Designer
David M. Walsh Cinematographer

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The Sunshine Boys 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
gfunk7 More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie! I remember watching it with my family as a youngster and it brought back sooo many memories..Walter Mathau is hilarious and George Burns is brilliantly funny..I love those guys!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago