- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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With all the sunshine Al and Willie spread...
- John Wilson
Taking over roles that Jack Albertson and Sam Levene played on Broadway, Walter Matthau and George Burns play a couple of old time vaudeville comics, a team in the tradition of Joe Smith and Charles Dale who seem to have a differing outlook on life.Walter Matthau can't stop working, the man has never learned to relax, take some time and smell the roses. He's a crotchety old cuss whose best days are behind him and his nephew and agent Richard Benjamin is finding less and less work for him. What hurt him badly was that some 15 years earlier his partner George Burns decided to retire and spend some time with his family. A workaholic like Matthau can't comprehend it and take Burns's decision personally.Benjamin hits on a brain storm, reunite the guys and do it on a national television special. What happens here is pretty hilarious.The Sunshine Boys is also a sad, bittersweet story as well about old age. Matthau is on screen for most of the film, but it's Burns who got the kudos in the form of an Oscar at the ripe old age of 79.Burns brought a bit of the personal into this film as well. As we all know he was the straight man of the wonderful comedy team of Burns&Allen who the Monty Python troop borrowed a lot from. In 1958 due to health reasons, Gracie Allen retired and George kept going right up to the age of 100. Or at least pretty close to as an active performer.The Sunshine Boys is based on the team of Smith&Dale however and if you like The Sunshine Boys I strongly recommend you see Two Tickets to Broadway for a look at a pair of guys who were entertaining the American public at the turn of the last century. The doctor sketch that Matthau and Burns do is directly from their material.And I do think you will like The Sunshine Boys.
The Sunshine Boys
A hilarious ode to vaudeville. Burns won the Academy Award for his supporting performance, while on-screen partner, Matthau won the Golden Globe, as did Benjamin as his nephew. Simon's screenplay is a laugh-filled riot from beginning to end, where the medium of television is introduced to two cranky vaudevillian's. An entertaining and enjoyable comedy. I give it a 4.5/5.
The Sun Shines Bright on George Burns.
- Frank Harris Horn
George Burns gives a well-deserved Oscar-winning performance, when he was paired up with Walter Matthau as director, Herbert Ross brings Neil Simon's sensational hit Broadway play to the silver screen. Matthau and Burns are two feuding vaudevillains, who are persuaded to bring their old comedy act back for a TV special. Burns' role of Al Lewis (not to be confused with the actor, who played Grandpa on the TV series, "The Munsters") was originally intended for Jack Benny, but when Benny died suddenly in 1974, lovable Ol' George decided to play the part in honor of his old friend. And it paid off, when he won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. This was George Burns' first starring film role since the 1939 movie, "Honolulu". Both Matthau and Burns are masters at work. Also starring Richard Benjamin, Carol Arthur, Jennifer Lee, Steve Allen, Phyllis Diller, Howard Hesseman, F. Murray Abraham, Milt Kogan, Fritz Feld, Dan Resin, Archie Hahn & Tom Spratley.
The Sunshine Boys
It would have been great with Jack Benny playing Lewis, and it is great with Matthau playing Lewis. It held me captive. It may have other people belly laughing...I didn't because it ran a very close parallel to my family. And Matthau looks like my Dad
The Sunshine is Bright!!!
I LOVED IT!!!!I haven't laugh that much through a film in a long time. I am definitley buying this one for my library.