7.4/10
10,292
61 user 46 critic

The Fortune Cookie (1966)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 19 October 1966 (USA)
A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ron Rich ...
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Mother Hinkle
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Lauren Gilbert ...
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Noam Pitlik ...
Max
Harry Davis ...
Dr. Krugman
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Sister Veronica
Maryesther Denver ...
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dough is the most important ingredient in... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Glückspilz  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,705,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,000,000, 31 December 1966

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,800,000, 1 January 1968
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first film on which Billy Wilder and Walter Matthau worked together, though Matthau was Wilder's first choice for the part in The Seven Year Itch (1955) that was eventually played by Tom Ewell. See more »

Goofs

Keith Jackson never called NFL games for CBS. However in the credits he is listed as "Football Announcer", not as himself, so this is not necessarily a mistake. See more »

Quotes

O'Brien: We've been going over the hospital report.
Willie Gingrich: Discouraging, isn't it?
O'Brien: Naturally, we don't accept it at face value.
Willie Gingrich: I wouldn't, either.
Thompson: Look, Gingrich, let's stop horsing around. We demand the right to have our own doctors examine Hinkle.
Willie Gingrich: You got it.
Kincaid: Unless you agree to it, we'll get a court order and force you.
Willie Gingrich: I agree to it.
O'Brien: Now don't give us any trouble, Gingrich. We know your reputation... what do you mean you "agree to it?"
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Dreams: Starting Over (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
Sung by Judi West
Also strains played throughout the movie
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User Reviews

Matthau saves what could have been a tragically dull film...

"The Fortune Cookie" is a light, lovable con/slapstick film about Harry Hinkle (Jack Lemmon), a sports cameraman who is accidentally knocked down by NFL star Boom Boom Jackson (Ron Rich) at a football game. Hinkle suffers a minor concussion but his lawyer brother-in-law, Willie Gingrich (Walter Matthau) is immediately on the seen. Willie thinks that they can sue for millions of dollars if Harry plays that he's got a "compressed vertebrae", and Harry reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile Boom Boom is feeling desperately guilty and is taking care of Harry to make himself feel better.

This movie is labeled as a comedy but most of the humor is dry and subtle. I'd go as far as to call it out-dated, it was probably considered a lot funnier when it first came out.

Though I guess the only character that is supposed to be actually funny is Matthau's, and he is. Hilarious, in fact. He never misses a beat, every movement and line is delivered in perfect accordance to his character. And considering the guy had a heart attack while working on the film, his drive and proffesionalism is admirable.

Aside from Matthau the movie is a little bland, but not bad. The other performances, from Lemmon, Rich and Judi West as Hinkle's gold-digging ex-wife, are all well-played, Rich gives the most notable performance as the guilt-ridden Boom Boom.

The style, direction and other componets of the film are well too...but in the end Matthau's performance is the only real benefit of this film, but it's a big benefit, and gets a 7.5/10 from me.


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