Walter Matthau plays a professional killer going by the name of Trabucco, who is on his way to rub out gangster Rudy "Disco" Gambola, set to testify against the mob. As Trabucco heads off ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
This was director Billy Wilder's second film in a row in which one of his lead actors suffered a heart attack. In preceding film, 1964's Kiss Me, Stupid (1964), Peter Sellers' health problem forced Wilder to replace him with Ray Walston. In Fortune Cookie, Walter Matthau suffered attack midway through production but shooting was postponed until he recovered; his drastic weight loss from scene to scene is noticeable. See more »
When Harry is injured, his camera flies out of his hands and the cables are missing. In the previous scene, the cables were shown attached using a screw-in type connector that would not have come off, even when being tackled. See more »
All these newfangled machines. Fake! It proves nothing. In the old days, we used to do these things better. The man says he's paralyzed, we simply throw him in the snake pit. If he climbs out, then we know he's lying.
And if he doesn't climb out?
Then we have lost the patient, but we have found an honest man.
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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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