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The Clown (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 16 January 1953 (USA)
Once a famous Ziegfeld star, Dodo Delwyn, is reduced to playing clowns in burlesque and amusement parks as a result of his drinking. His son Little Dink idolizes Dodo and faithfully ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writers:

Frances Marion (story), Leonard Praskins (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Red Skelton ... Dodo Delwyn
Jane Greer ... Paula Henderson
Tim Considine ... Dink Delwyn
Loring Smith Loring Smith ... Benjamin Y. 'Goldie' Goldenson
Philip Ober ... Ralph Z. Henderson
Lou Lubin ... Little Julie
Fay Roope Fay Roope ... Doctor Strauss
Walter Reed ... Joe Hoagley
Eddie Marr Eddie Marr ... Television Director
Jonathan Cott ... Floor Director
Don Beddoe ... Gallagher
Steve Forrest ... Young Man
Edit

Storyline

Once a famous Ziegfeld star, Dodo Delwyn, is reduced to playing clowns in burlesque and amusement parks as a result of his drinking. His son Little Dink idolizes Dodo and faithfully believes in a comeback. He persuades "Uncle" Goldie, Dodo's agent in the good old days, to find a booking for Dodo. He can't, and Dink is sent to live with his remarried-and-wealthy mother, Paula. The unhappy Dink runs back to his father. His welcome return gives Dodo the courage needed to try a knockabout TV show offered by Goldie. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll cry...You'll laugh...You'll love it!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le clown See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$887,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Tim Considine. He would become best known for My Three Sons (1960). See more »

Goofs

After Dodo talks to Henderson in the hallway about Dink, Dodo goes to open the door to his apartment twice between shots. See more »

Connections

Remake of The Champ (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Sad Clown
4 October 2008 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This Red Skelton film caused a big stir when it was released because it featured the famous comedian in a serious role, as a sad case of someone too far gone on drink but passionately loved by his young son. The son, played in his film debut by Tim Considine, gives a magnificent and powerful performance. Skelton is very good as well. The film is a bit tepid despite the fierce intensity of Considine's acting because, as was usual with Skelton's films, not enough attention was paid to it, and it was not produced or directed with sufficient care. Considine's mother, whom he meets for the first time since infancy in this story, is played by the elegant Jane Greer, who is very at home in a nervous mother role, and conveys a sense of anxiety-ridden maternity with applomb. This film is a bit soft around the edges. In order to pack a real punch, it should have been a bit more like 'The Country Girl', and Skelton should have been allowed to play the alcoholic with the same hopeless and tragic air as Bing Crosby did in that film. Instead, the producers could not really bring themselves to push the story or the portrayal through to its logical conclusion, or make it realistic enough, and they let it drift off into fairyland. Because of the vacillation and lack of conviction of the producers, this film largely wastes Skelton's talents, will not allow him to go for true pathos, and reigns in the realism needlessly. This causes the film to verge on being an 'exploitation picture' playing harps to the music of the hopeless-dad-loving-young-son motif. The film could have been original and powerful, but despite the 100% given to it by Tim Considine, it is disappointing, and remains in the category of 'films that might have been'. If only Skelton had met the right director and had been able to sear the screen with his magic, but he was unlucky. Not for lack of acting support, though! Considine and Greer are just what was needed.


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