A Thousand Clowns

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A Thousand Clowns is a 1965 film about an eccentric, nonconformist children's television writer living in a New York City apartment with his nephew.

Directed by Fred Coe. Written by Herb Gardner, adapted from his 1962 Broadway play of the same name.

Albert Burns[edit]

  • Murray, you've got a rotten reputation. Even these guys weren't easy to grab. Why do you have to build your own personal blacklist? Why can't you just get blacklisted as a Communist like everybody else?

Murray Burns[edit]

  • Irving R. Feldman's birthday is my own personal national holiday. I did not open it up for the public. He is proprietor of perhaps the most distinguished kosher delicatessen in our neighborhood, and, as such, I hold the day of his birth in reverence.
  • You might call Nick a bastard... or a little bastard, depending on how whimsical you feel at the time.
  • If things aren't funny then they're exactly what they are; and then they're like a long dental appointment.
  • Aw, Sandy, that's the most you should expect from life, a really good apology for all the things you won't get.

Nick[edit]

  • My simple child reaction of what you did is that you are not funny. Funnier than you is even Stuart Schlossman, who is my friend, and is eleven, and puts walnuts in his mouth and makes noises. What is not funny is to call us names, and what is mostly not funny is how sad you are, and I'd feel sorry for you if it wasn't for how dull you are. And those are the worst-tasting potato chips that I've ever tasted. And that's my opinion from the blue, blue sky.

Dialogue[edit]

Albert: Sandra, it's really time we left for Queens.
Sandra: Here's the Ledbetter file, I'm staying here.
Albert: Sandra.
Sandra: I have decided to pursue this case.
Albert: Sandra, have we lost all professional control?
Sandra: You just -- you just go yourself -- to the Leadbellies -- you go on to Queens.

Albert: I was not aware that Nicholas was an O.W. child.
Murray: "O.W."?
Albert: Out of wedlock.
Murray: For a moment there, I thought you meant prisoner of war. I think it's that natural warmth of yours, Albert, that leads me to misunderstand.

Albert: Mr. Burns, you can assume at this point that Miss Markowitz is no longer involved with your case. The Board will be informed that she is no longer involved with this particular case. Her continuing here, to discuss your case -- at this point -- is entirely unofficial. You can dismiss any conference -- that may resume after I leave -- when I leave here, from your mind. And regardless of what you think of me--
Murray: I think you're a dirty O.W.
Albert: And -- do you know what you are? Maladjusted!
Murray: Oooh! [strikes heart and sinks to the floor]

Sandy: There is a kind of relief that it's gone - the job, and even Albert. But I know what it is, it's just irresponsible, that's all. And I don't have the vaguest idea who I am.
Murray: It's just that there are all these Sandras running around who you've never met before, and it's confusing at first, fantastic. But damn it, isn't it great to find out how many Sandras there are? It's like those little cars in the circus, you know? This tiny red car comes out, hardly big enough for a midget, and it putters around, and suddenly its doors open and out come a thousand clowns, whooping and hollering and raising hell.

Albert: Miss Markowitz did not show up in Queens yesterday.
Murray: So...
Albert: Well, her parents are quite upset. I am quite upset. Where is she?
Murray: She’s hiding in the closet.
Albert: Now, we’re really all quite anxious to know where she is.
Murray: I’m not kidding, Albert, she’s in the closet.
Albert: [checks the closet, gazes at her momentarily, quickly closes the door, and goes back to talk with Murray] She is in the closet.
Murray: I wouldn’t lie to you, Albert.
Albert: Why is she in the closet?
Murray: I don’t know, uh…she’s got this thing about closets.
Albert: Well, that’s a very silly thing for her to be in, that closet.
Murray: Well, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Now, what else can I do for you, Albert?
Albert: That’s a difficult thing for me to believe...I mean, that she’s right there in the closet. You know, you are not a person, Mr. Burns, you are an experience!
Murray: [laughing] That’s very nice, Albert. I’ll have to remember that.

Nick: We got to get rid of him!
Murray: [hugging Nick] Nick...
Nick: We got to! Please!
Murray: Nick, we can't. We can't. Aw, kid, I'm sorry. Sorry, kid. I'm sorry.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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