The Fortune Cookie (1966)


“This guy is so full of angles and gimmicks and twists; he starts to describe a doughnut and it comes out a pretzel” – Thompson

Number of Times Seen – 1 (24 Dec 2018)

Brief Synopsis – After a freak accident on the sidelines of a football game, a cameraman and his lawyer brother-in-law try to get a big settlement from the insurance company while a faking a serious injury.

My Take on it –As a fan of Jack Lemmon / Walter Matthau films, I have always been interested in seeing what this film was all about, but up until now never really had the opportunity to do so.

This is a great Billy Wilder / I.A.L. Diamond comedy that is able to get so much right along the way.

The script and dialogue is superbly written and the fast talking Matthau is perfectly cast as the lawyer.

He very deservingly won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this performance and he was truly amazing in this role.

Lemmon is also great as the sad sack lead character (which he excelled at playing) and his chemistry with Matthau is near perfect.

This was their first collaboration together and they would go on to work together in 11 films in their lifetimes.

The plot itself is quite simple yet they found a way to keep things so enjoyable and entertaining the entire time largely due to the rapid pace of it all.

This is definitely among Wilder’s greatest films since it’s able to work on numerous levels as things move along in some great directions throughout.

Eventhough the characters have questionable motivations for everything that they do along the way, they are still endearing to the viewer because they are all developed quite well.

Bottom Line – Great Wilder/Diamond comedy that gets so much right. The script is superb and the fast talking Matthau is great in a supporting role that he won an Oscar for.  Lemmon is also great in the lead and his chemistry with Matthau is amazing.  This would be the first collaboration of 11 between the two of them.  The plot may seem quite simple yet they manage to keep things so enjoyable and entertaining the whole way through.  Definitely among Wilder’s great films because it works so well on numerous levels. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – On the third day of filming, Billy Wilder gave Walter Matthau a direction with which he disagreed. Instead of arguing, Matthau said, “You speak kind of funny, Billy – are you from out of town.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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2 thoughts on “The Fortune Cookie (1966)

  1. Pingback: Oscar Best Acting Winners |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1966 |

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