The Clown (1953 film)
theatrical film poste
|Directed by||Robert Z. Leonard|
|Produced by||William H. Wright|
|Written by||Frances Marion (story)
Leonard Praskins (adaptation)
Martin Rackin (screenplay)
|Music by||David Rose|
|Edited by||Gene Ruggiero|
|January 16, 1953 (US)|
Dodo the Clown is a funny man with a serious drinking problem. His son Dink is amused by Dodo's act, but not so the circus owner who dismisses Dodo for having insulted a paying customer. Dodo also ruins a job audition by turning up drunk.
Dink asks if Dodo's old agent, Goldie Goldenson, can help. Goldie recalls the clown's great days from the Ziegfeld Follies so he promises to try. He also gives the boy $50, but Dodo doesn't want charity. Dodo does accept when an associate of Goldie offers a one-night engagement at the Ritz.
An enthusiastic Dodo goes to a pawn shop to retrieve his tuxedo plus a watch that Flo Ziegfeld gave him, which he presents to Dink as a gift. At the hotel that night, Goldie doesn't want Dodo performing because the part is that of a stooge, but Dodo goes through with the humiliation on stage.
In the audience are ex-wife Paula Henderson and her new husband, Ralph, a successful businessman. Ralph goes backstage, where he says Paula would like to spend some time with her son, whom she abandoned after the divorce.
Dodo is given $200 by Ralph and promptly loses it in a dice game, as well as the watch, which he took while Dink was asleep. To get the watch back, Dodo takes a job in a strip club. When the club is raided by the police, Goldie must bail him out. The disgrace makes Dodo realize that Dink would be better off with Paula and Ralph, so he makes the boy go live with them. The part of the gambler who Dodo loses the watch to was played by Charles Bronson in an uncredited role.
Goldie comes up with a great opportunity for a television show. Dink, unhappy with the Hendersons, is thrilled with Dodo's chance for a comeback, but while performing, Dodo gets dizzy and collapses on stage. When he dies, Dink obediently goes home with his mother.
According to MGM records the film earned $1,539,000 in the US and Canada and $560,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $437,000.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- The Clown at the Internet Movie Database
- The Clown at the TCM Movie Database
- The Clown, reviewed at Red-Skelton