The Clown (1953)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Drama

The Clown (1953) Poster

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 »

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  • Tim Considine and Red Skelton in The Clown (1953)
  • Tim Considine and Red Skelton in The Clown (1953)
  • Tim Considine and Jane Greer in The Clown (1953)
  • Red Skelton in The Clown (1953)
  • Tim Considine, Jane Greer, and Red Skelton in The Clown (1953)
  • Tim Considine, Ned Glass, Sandra Gould, and Red Skelton in The Clown (1953)

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Reviews & Commentary

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20 August 2009 | moonspinner55
| Just an excuse to show off Skelton's dramatic and comedic chops...but he infuses it with heart nevertheless
Reworking of 1931's "The Champ" is a predictable father-son wallow permeated with self-pity...but you have to expect that with this formula--without it, the movie would crumble apart. Story of an ex-Ziegfeld comedian who has fallen on hard times provides the perfect opportunity for Red Skelton to stretch some dramatic acting muscles, and he does not disappoint. Plus, his relationship with young Tim Considine is well-played, and the surrounding milieu of nightclubs and talent agencies is believable. Still, this script really goes out on a limb to give Skelton's Dodo an even break (he lands a TV gig!), and the heartache inherent in the finale is telegraphed from miles away. Skelton does his familiar comic routines, enjoying them himself as much as the audience does, yet in these instances he's playing to his popular persona and the semblance of an actual character slips away. We also didn't need a reprisal of the ballet sequence from "Bathing Beauty" inserted as a flashback, nor a running-away-from-home thread which is just shucked off. Screenwriter Martin Rackin seems shackled to the by-the-numbers recipe lifted from the previous version; yet if it works at all, this is due to Skelton's panache. Dimply-cute and sad-eyed, the nervous warmth Red imbues to his paternal scenes, as well as towards Jane Greer in a dressing-room meeting, is indeed moving. **1/2 from ****

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