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The Sunshine Boys (film): Wikis


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The Sunshine Boys

1975 film poster
Directed by Herbert Ross
Produced by Ray Stark
Written by Neil Simon
Starring Walter Matthau
George Burns
Richard Benjamin
Lee Meredith
F. Murray Abraham
Cinematography David M. Walsh
Editing by John F. Burnett
Studio MGM
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) 6 November 1975
Running time 111 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Sunshine Boys is a 1975 film produced by Ray Stark and directed by Herbert Ross, based on the play of the same name. 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 Phil Silvers auditioned, 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 Burns, who had not been in a film since 1939, for the role.[3] When Skelton eventually dropped out as well, possibly because he considered the material too "blue", he was replaced by Matthau.[2]




Awards and nominations

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

  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Burns, winner)
  • Academy Award for Best Actor (Matthau, nominee)
  • Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (nominee)
  • Academy Award for Best Art Direction (Albert Brenner, Marvin March, nominees)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (winner)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Matthau, winner)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor (Benjamin, winner)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Burns, nominee)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay, Motion Picture (nominee)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Actor (Matthau, nominee)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay (nominee)
  • Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium (winner)


External links


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