7.7/10
25,970
115 user 57 critic

The Odd Couple (1968)

G | | Comedy | 16 May 1968 (USA)
Two friends try sharing an apartment, but their ideas of housekeeping and lifestyles are as different as night and day.

Director:

Writers:

(from the play by), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Oscar and Felix take a road trip to their son and daughter's wedding.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Richard Riehle
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A lifelong feud between two neighbors since childhood only gets worse when a new female neighbor moves across the street.

Director: Donald Petrie
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret
The Odd Couple (1970–1975)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two men, a neat freak and a slob separated from their wives, have to live together despite their differences.

Stars: Tony Randall, Jack Klugman, Al Molinaro
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich
Out to Sea (1997)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A failed gambler, intent on meeting a rich widow, tricks his widowed brother-in-law into boarding a cruise ship as dance hosts.

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Dyan Cannon
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

John and Max resolve to save their beloved bait shop from turning into an Italian restaurant, just as its new female owner catches Max's attention.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Ann-Margret
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

As a tabloid newspaper editor tries to prevent his top reporter from retiring, an escaped death row convict shows up at the office trying to convey his innocence.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An Ohio sales executive accepts a higher position within the company and travels to New York City with his wife for his job interview but things go wrong from the start.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Sandy Dennis, Sandy Baron
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man who has set up the perfect lifestyle for himself makes the mistake of marrying while drunk...and his fantasies of murder are used against him.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Virna Lisi, Terry-Thomas
Buddy Buddy (1981)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Paula Prentiss
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In New York, armed men hijack a subway car and demand a ransom for the passengers. Even if it's paid, how could they get away?

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An alcoholic marries a young woman, whom he systematically addicts to booze so they can share his "passion" together.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Murray (as Herbert Edelman)
...
Roy
Larry Haines ...
Monica Evans ...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Felix Ungar has just broken up with his wife. Despondent, he goes to kill himself but is saved by his friend Oscar Madison. With nowhere else to go, Felix is urged by Oscar to move in with him, at least for a while. The only problem is that Felix is neat, tidy, and neurotic, whereas Oscar is slovenly and casual. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are The Odd Couple See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 May 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Extraña pareja  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the fact that a number of key scenes involve poker games, and the fact that the five male lead characters are all poker buddies, Felix is never seen actually playing poker. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scenes, when Felix is walking into the go-go dancer club, a woman with long brown hair is leaving. After Felix enters, she is dancing on stage. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Felix Ungar: A room, please.
Hotel clerk: You alone?
[Felix nods]
Hotel clerk: Luggage?
[Felix shakes his head]
Hotel clerk: How long do you want it for?
Felix Ungar: Oh, not very long.
Hotel clerk: Five dollars.
[Felix isn't paying attention]
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

© Copyright MCMXLVII by Paramount Pictures Corporation

That would read in Arabic numerals 1947. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Make Room for Lisa (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(1740) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Words by James Thomson
Briefly sung a cappella by Walter Matthau
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The one that started it all...
3 December 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Buddy comedies always come down to two things: actors and their scripts. "The Odd Couple" works because it has two endearing characters and an often hilarious and always down-to-earth script, making it one of the best odd couple films of all time -- inspiring but not surpassing movies that share its genre, such as John Hughes' "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (1987) and Martin Brest's "Midnight Run" (1988). And, in some ways, even Barry Levinson's "Rain Man" (1988), a more dramatic buddy comedy that nevertheless takes a lot of pointers from this one.

Plots always help buddy comedies, of course, but it really depends on whether the two actors -- when confined to a solitary confinement -- can interact and make the audience laugh. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, two legendary screen comedians, can do just that. Their comedic chemistry in this film has often been mimicked by other rip-offs, such as "Grumpy Old Men." But this remains their ultimate combined-effort comedy.

This is the type of movie that is often referenced as the pinnacle buddy movie. Sure, it may not be the best, but it did inspire the entire odd couple genre, and I would definitely place it in the top five buddy comedies list if I ever made such a thing.

Felix (Jack Lemmon) has just been left by his wife, and so he goes to live with long-time poker pal Oscar (Walter Matthau), a grumpy and filthy slob who is the exact opposite of Felix, an uptight orderly man with a fetish for cleaning. In fact, he does just that in Oscar's apartment, which drives Oscar to the point of ultimate frustration. If these guys can't get along much longer, they'll just have to move along and forget their friendship. But things don't always turn out the way they appear.

Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" is full of inspired lunacy. It has some truly hilarious moments with great gags and interaction between its two lead stars, whose screen chemistry is undeniable -- there's a reason Hollywood paired Lemmon and Matthau together an uncountable number of times.

The film is lacking the humanity and sorrow of its characters that shines through in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"; there are few -- if any -- moments where the characters become so frustrated with each other that they blow up and then realize that they're not exactly how they thought. Remember the scene in the motel when Neal Page (Steve Martin) lashed out against Del Griffith (John Candy)? But after the comedy tirade ended, and as we laughed, the film took an unexpected turn when it revealed the Del character's utter hurt inside. Then we stopped laughing and we started crying.

That's lacking in "The Odd Couple," making it inferior to Hughes' comedy masterpiece, but it's a clever little film that inspired it all. Perhaps the best gag in the entire movie is one that was quite controversial at the time: Oscar finds a note next to his bed from Felix that says they're out of cereal, and the last two letters of the note are, "F U." Of course, the two letters "F U" are Felix Ungar's initials, but as Oscar implies, just imagine what he thought it meant when he first read the note.

I love comedies where you lock down a small number of people -- preferably a pair of opposites -- in a room and let their characters take over. I like when the dialogue is rich and funny and so very real. I guess I just like subtle character comedies -- overblown special effects comedies aren't always favorites of mine. "Dumb and Dumber" is one of my favorite buddy comedies, and it's not because it's crude or silly but because I like the pairing of its two stars, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, and I like the situations they get into.

"The Odd Couple" (based on the stage play by Simon) is the odd comedy that puts a smile on your face and delights the viewer. It's a fun movie, a great comedy, one of the finest and arguably the most acknowledged buddy film of all time. I saw it years ago and I've been laughing ever since. And despite its inferiority to some of the other buddy films that followed in its path, "The Odd Couple" is a delightful character comedy that will inspire similar comedies for years to come. Lord knows it already has.

5/5.


32 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
what 2 actors would be good for a remake? JBarethecutest
What if Billy Wilder had directed this? nelson95
I told you 158 times I cannot stand little notes on my pillow Karma_Kramer
Favorite lines/scenes from the film? nightcrawler71
Is it time enough to remake this film??? AllieF0X
It Could Not Be Better kevincahill2002
Discuss The Odd Couple (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page