Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
A cameraman is knocked over during a football game. His brother in law as the king of the ambulance chasing lawyers starts a suit while he's still knocked out. The cameraman is against it until he hears that his ex-wife will be coming to see him. He pretends to be injured to get her back, but also sees what the strain is doing to the football player who injured him. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Finally caught it on TCM yesterday, and was able to watch it "fresh," compared to "The Odd Couple" or "The Front Page," which one might already know all about.
A fine study in contrasts at work here; Matthau, as the shyster lawyer has something resembling a family life, while Lemmon, ostensibly the nice guy, is shown to be very lonely, still stuck in the apartment his wife left him in (and aren't those exteriors filmed in Cleveland? I don't think those buildings on his street were seen in any other Hollywood backlot, and they looked a touch more shabby than ordinary). So we have "Boom Boom" as the real moral center of the movie. He's racked with guilt over having injured Hinkle (Lemmon), so much so that he sees to Hinkle's recovery, even carrying him around like a wounded puppy, letting his game suffer, and he's the one who's most hurt by the scam.
The movie also shows a hopeful light on race relations in the mid-60's: Ron Rich gets to play a character with some feelings and some ambition beyond the NFL, and it's he and Lemmon's characters who become buddies at the end.
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