The Sunshine Boys (1975)

Sunshine Boys

First thing to come in your mind is who is the Sunshine Boys? Do they live in Florida? It is known as the Sunshine State and probably they were boys. Not really.

Walter & George

The Sunshine Boys is a 1975 American comedy film directed by Herbert Ross and produced by Ray Stark, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and based on the play of the same name by Neil Simon, about two legendary (and cranky) comics brought together for a reunion and revival of their famous act. 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 (From WKRP in Cincinnati) , 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.

George Burns wins an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as Lewis in the Sunshine Boys during 1975 – 1976 season of Academy Award. And to get that award, Neil Simon the screen writer of the Sunshine Boys he was nominated for an Oscar, but did not win.

Neil Simon is famous for as an American playwright and screenwriter. He has written over thirty plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, most adapted from his plays. He has received more Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer.

Neil Simon knows his comedy when he writes comedy, it makes us laugh And there’s a lesson of comedy writing and presenting good to any audience.

In Neil Simon’s play, The Sunshine Boys, Willy, a main character, gives his nephew a lecture about comedy:

“Fifty-seven years in this business, you learn a few things. You know what words are funny and which words are not funny. Alka Seltzer is funny. You say “Alka Seltzer” you get a laugh . . . Words with “k” in them are funny. Casey Stengel, that’s a funny name. Robert Taylor is not funny. Cupcake is funny. Tomato is not funny. Cookie is funny. Cucumber is funny. Car keys. Cleveland . . . Cleveland is funny. Maryland is not funny. Then, there’s chicken. Chicken is funny. Pickle is funny.”

Someone actually researched why the ‘k’ sound is funny. It has something to do with the sounds we, as babies, associated with comfort. Like cootchie-coo, cuddle, cozy, etc. Note that these words don’t have a ‘K’ in them, but they have the ‘K’ sound.

Examples:

Those turkeys over at XYA (remember no Z’s allowed) company can’t hold a candle to our team of installers.

I’ll bet you a cupcake to a cucumber the blue team will outsell the gold team.

When writing comedy his style of comedy were both situation and verbal humor. Koprince writes, “His plays are often brilliantly funny,” adding that his “flair for rapid-fire jokes and wisecracks is unparalleled.” Which means to present serious subjects in way that audience would laugh at the characters of what the actors portray? And it makes us laugh.

Overall it is good movie and it did make me laugh at the loveable characters of Walter Matthau and George Burns, they were hysterical to watch. There is no-way to reboot this movie. It’s classic and vintage on its own.

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