A Thousand Clowns is a 1965 film adaptation from a 1962 play by Herb Gardner, and directed by Fred Coe. It tells the story of an eccentric comedy writer who is forced to conform to society to retain legal custody of his nephew. Jason Robards starred in both the original Broadway version on stage and in the film. Martin Balsam won an Academy Award for his supporting performance in the movie.
(Summary from Wikipedia)