Kotch (1971)


“Do you like “Alice In Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll?” – Dr. McKernan

 “I wouldn’t like it by anyone else.” – Joseph P. Kotcher

Number of Times Seen – 1 (15 May 2018)

Brief Synopsis – An elderly man living with his son spends his days caring for his grandson but when he starts to become a nuisance to the young mothers of the neighborhood, he goes on a road trip.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had never heard of before yet decided to check it out when I found out that Walther Matthau was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for this role.

He actually does quite a good job here playing a character twenty+ years older than he was at the time and we easily can see how his old fashioned ideas don’t conform perfectly with modern society, so he must learn how to adapt.

The problem is that the story presented here just doesn’t age very well and the idea of a young unwed mother to be hanging around with a 70 year old must have been much more shocking and controversial at the time, yet now seems like par for the course.

Matthau also does a great job trying to relate to the other characters around him as he tries (even at his advanced age) to find out who he is and what he truly stands for.

This was the directorial debut of Matthau’s long-time partner Jack Lemmon, who never director another film again, which says so much about how exhausting that kind of job might have on an actor.

This is a mediocre road trip film that just doesn’t seem to be as interesting as it possibly could have been.

Bottom Line – Matthau is quite good in this film yet the story itself doesn’t age very well. The idea of an unwed pregnancy for a young girl was probably much more shocking 47 years ago than it is today. I really liked the way that Matthau relates to all of the other characters as he himself tries to understand who and what he is along the way.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Directorial debut for Jack Lemmon. Lemmon found direction duties both emotionally and physically draining and felt very uncomfortable behind the camera. This was his one and only film as a director.  (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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2 thoughts on “Kotch (1971)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1971 |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1971 |

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