A Thousand Clowns

This warm and wonderful comedy-drama is a paean to non-conformity. Robards is an out-of-work writer who quit his last job writing a kiddie TV show called "Chuckles the Chipmunk" when he could no longer stand the stupidity. Unemployed for five months, he needs cash to help support his nephew, Gordon, a bright 12-year-old whom his sister dropped off one afternoon...read more

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This warm and wonderful comedy-drama is a paean to non-conformity. Robards is an out-of-work writer who quit his last job writing a kiddie TV show called "Chuckles the Chipmunk" when he could no longer stand the stupidity. Unemployed for five months, he needs cash to help support his

nephew, Gordon, a bright 12-year-old whom his sister dropped off one afternoon seven years ago, then vanished. Gordon is illegitimate and, after living with Robards this long, more like a son than a nephew. The relationship between them is warm, loving, and respectful. Robards has never legally

adopted Gordon, so a social worker, Harris, comes by to see if she can straighten out the situation. With her is Daniels, a prissy man who is a by-the-book social worker. Unless Robards can prove that he has a real job, they are going to have to take Gordon out of the ratty apartment and give him

a foster home. Of course, Harris and Robards become romantically involved. Harris now has a personal stake in keeping the family together but can she and Gordon persuade Robards to return to the daily grind of a regular job? Will he willingly become one of the "thousand clowns" one sees running

for the morning bus?

Touching and often funny, A THOUSAND CLOWNS offers superb performances by everyone, especially the young Gordon who read lines like a seasoned pro. Saks, who is also a well-known stage and film director, is sensational as the grotesque "Chuckles", a portrayal that is actually more memorable than

Balsam's as Robard's brother, the agent, who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role.

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