6
votes

Urban setting, large US city, possibly New York, but not important to story. Majority of story occurs in a very average, small apartment, in a very average neighborhood. Movie made circa 1950-60 and takes place in that time period.

Plot has two primary players, an adult male about 40 years old and a young boy, about 10 years old. Both are white. The boy may be the man's nephew (not sure) and is either orphaned or estranged from his parents and is living with the man. They develop an erratic but warm relationship and the boy wants to remain with the man and possibly be adopted by him. But the man is somewhat irresponsible and two social service workers are evaluating his fitness to be a parent. The drama increases as it seems that the boy will be removed from the home and put into foster care (??) because the man is not demonstrating parental fitness to the satisfaction of the social workers. The boy dearly loves the man and encourages him to become more responsible and get regular employment so he can remain with him.

Not sure why the man does not have a regular job. Could be depression based upon something in his past but employment problem is definitely an important part of the story. In the end, he gets a regular job and the boy is overjoyed that the man becomes his legal guardian. Final scene shows the man happily walking along the street to his new job.

This is definitely a feel-good movie with the boy carrying the emotional energy of the story with a bright and endearingly aggressive personality. Man is, I think, a well-known actor of this time period, possibly a major star.

Would love to see it again. Can you identify the movie for me?

closed as off-topic by JNat Jan 19 '18 at 14:03

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2
votes

I believe you are referring to the movie "A Thousand Clowns", made in 1965 starring Jason Robards. The plot from imdb, "A middle-aged iconoclast, doggedly avoiding the tedium of employment and conventional life, faces the prospect of losing custody of his young ward.". Here is a brief clip with Jason Robards:

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