The Sunshine Boys

1975 PG 1h 51m DVD

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The Sunshine Boys

1975 PG 1h 51m DVD
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Think The Odd Couple for the octogenarian set. Walter Matthau and George Burns have never been better (or more cantankerous) as two faded vaudeville legends -- Lewis and Clark -- who reteam for a television special about the history of comedy. Trouble is, the two geezers can't stand each other. Matthau and Burns are wonderful to watch in this vintage comedy penned by Neil Simon and directed by Herbert Ross.
Widescreen 1.85:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), French
English: Dolby Digital Mono, French: Dolby Digital Mono
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
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age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Sunshine Boys is another "buddy" (or "anti-buddy") comedy from writer Neil Simon. Two elderly ex-vaudevillians trade jokes and insults and reflect upon their 43-year partnership as entertainers, not all of it happy. There is a great deal of physical humor, including lengthy scenes in which two true comic geniuses (Walter Matthau and George Burns, who won a Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance) silently engage in hilarious one-upmanship. One sequence is a replay of a farcical vaudeville sketch in which a doctor leers at a buxom nurse while trying to seduce her. Cursing ("bastard," "s--t," "hell") and insults ("lunatic," "putz," "idiot") are heard throughout. Although often said in anger, the language is meant to be ludicrously out of line and funny. In one briefly suspenseful scene, one of the leads has an on-camera heart attack and trips down some stairs but recovers. Tweens and teens who aren't really old enough to pick up on the references to vaudeville, early television, and the world of agents and auditions will still see the laugh-out-loud humor in the old boys' relationship and the frequent clowning.

Sexual Content

A very funny vaudeville sketch about a doctor and his buxom nurse is included. The skit contains comic ogling, innuendo, and a healthy supply of "large breast" jokes. The nurse wears a very low-cut uniform and wiggles her derriere as she enters and exits.


The incorrigible senior at the heart of this movie hits his adult nephew once and threatens him with a knife. He suffers a heart attack and falls down a few stairs. No injuries or deaths.


Frequent mild-to-moderate cursing: "s--t," "damn," "bastard," "Jesus," "for Christ's sake," "hell," "son-of-a-bitch." Insults are heard frequently as well: "idiot," "senile," "lunatic," "putz," "shut up," "crazy bedbug." One elderly character uses ethnic slurs in a few instances: "Kraut," "the Spanish kid" (referring to an adult), and "Japs."

Social Behavior

Patience and empathy are important elements in preserving long-term friendships. Even in very difficult relationships, common bonds can overcome small grievances.


Numerous products are either seen or mentioned: L'eggs, Alka-Seltzer, Variety, ABC, Streit's Matzos, Campbell's Soup, Coca-Cola, Sardi's, Schick, Chrysler, Colt 45. Much of the action takes place in New York City's landmark Hotel Ansonia (now a condominium complex).

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Smoking is referred to as "not allowed." A character chews on a cigar.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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