Avoiding to settle in a nursing home, Joseph Kotcher, a retired salesman, is obliged to leave his son's family. He embarks on a road trip during which he strikes up a friendship with a ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Deborah Winters ...
Erica Herzenstiel
...
Wilma Kotcher
...
Gerald Kotcher
...
Vera Kotcher
Donald Kowalski ...
Duncan Kotcher
Dean Kowalski ...
Duncan Kotcher
Arlen Stuart ...
Mrs. Fisher
Jane Connell ...
Miss Roberts
James Brodhead ...
Mr. Weaver (as James E. Brodhead)
Jessica Rains ...
Dr. McKernan
...
...
Motel Manager
...
Dr. Ramon Caudillo
Lucy Saroyan ...
Sissy
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Storyline

Avoiding to settle in a nursing home, Joseph Kotcher, a retired salesman, is obliged to leave his son's family. He embarks on a road trip during which he strikes up a friendship with a pregnant teenager and begins to understand the true meaning of life as he helps the girl give birth to her child. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Walter Matthau in the role only he could make so excitingly different...you'll start talking about it from the opening scene. Jack Lemmon directs. He takes his talent 'behind' the camera for the first time to add a new, fresh dimension to his brilliant career.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ainda Há Fogo Sob as Cinzas  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical feature film debut of M*A*S*H star Larry Linville playing Peter Stiel. See more »

Goofs

Kotch collects old bowling pins to throw into his fireplace to keep warm; in reality, the thick plastic coatings would create smoke and noxious fumes. See more »

Quotes

Erica Herzenstiel: Dumbest thing I've done in my life, having a baby in a filling station.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Remembers Walter Matthau (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Life Is What You Make It
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
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User Reviews

 
A hidden gem
30 April 2005 | by (Cedar Hills, Utah, USA) – See all my reviews

When this movie first came out I was in college and must have taken 4 or 5 different dates to see it. This movie was a mini cult phenomenon on campus, at least where I was, so I have always been surprised that it didn't get more publicity and acclaim. I saw it so many times because I felt it was a very worthwhile and meaningful film as a view into aging, the way we take care of elderly people, especially when it might be inconvenient for us. It was a good look into the feelings and hang-ups of people interacting among themselves: a retired man feeling increasingliy irrelevant in the environment he is compelled to live in, his spineless and uncomprehending son who doesn't offer much support at all, and his post-natal depressive daughter-in-law who can't understand why she has to put up with this codger who complicates her alreay-more-complicated life.

The movie also has a lot to say about the power of the human spirit to cope with change and make the best of things that aren't always going the way we always want them to.

I would like to see it again after 30+ years, but I can't find it at the usual rental stores. Having thought about it, though, I will continue to seek.


22 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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