Monday, June 8, 2009

A Thousand Clowns (1965)

A middle-aged man, doggedly avoiding the tedium of employment and conventional life, faces the prospect of losing custody of his young nephew. [imdb]

Nominated for 4 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Supporting Actor: Martin Balsam (WINNER)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Music, Adapted

I'm not gonna write much. I just don't understand how this film received a Best Picture nomination. It's based on a play and the film keeps using the stagey mood; you also get piles of dialogue. Some of it it's good, but too much talking makes it an exhausting movie and difficult to sit through.
A Thousand Clowns is not funny. It's some kind of a dramedy. The performances are ok, but none spectacular. Jason Robards is the best, but his character is more dislikeable that anything else, so it's hard to give him proper credit. Barbara Harris gives a shaky debut performance and Martin Balsam is ok, quite good actually, but I don't think he deserved the Oscar win.
My rating for the film: 5.5/10. An intelligent, but way too slow movie. I can see it did wonders on stage, but it doesn't work that well on the big screen.

Other 1965 Best Picture nominees discussed here (clickable):

Doctor Zhivago
Ship of Fools

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