Joseph Kotcher, a retired traveling salesman, lives with his son Gerald and daughter-in-law Wilma in Los Angeles. He dotes upon his young grandson Duncan irritating high-strung Wilma to the... See full summary »
Unassuming and single thirty-three year old Tillie Shlain is at that phase of her life of being known as a soon to be spinster if she doesn't marry soon. She isn't looking forward to ... See full summary »
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 »
Film version of the Neil Simon play has three separate acts set in the same hotel suite in New York's Plaza Hotel with Walter Matthau in a triple role. In the first, Karen Nash tries to get... See full summary »
A bored housewife poses as a call girl for a movie star sex-symbol, hoping she can prove to her husband, the star's agent, that she is still desirable to other men and thereby, rekindle the... See full summary »
Newly-promoted if none too happily married Howard Brubaker leaves a rowdy Company party early with the stunning Catherine, whom it turns out is herself unhappily married - to the boss. They... See full summary »
Joseph Kotcher, a retired traveling salesman, lives with his son Gerald and daughter-in-law Wilma in Los Angeles. He dotes upon his young grandson Duncan irritating high-strung Wilma to the point that she hires Erica, a high school student, as a regular babysitter to replace his efforts. However, Grandpa Kotcher still gets on her nerves, and she convinces Gerald to move him out. To humor his son he agrees to take an apartment at a retirement facility, but after being subjected to some psychological tests he opts instead to take an extended vacation, traveling up the coast by bus. Erica leaves town at the same time, for upon discovering she is pregnant, Wilma fires her and she is sent away to work in San Bernadino by her uptight older brother Peter, who is also her guardian. Grandpa Kotcher returns weeks later to find a Halloween party underway and his room full of Wilma's sewing stuff. A waiting card from Erica explains that due to "serious difficulties" she cannot repay some money he... Written by
Walter Matthau received a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role as Kotch in this movie. Matthau did not win but a few years later Art Carney won a Best Actor Oscar for Harry and Tonto (1974), a similarly themed movie. Matthau and Carney would later appear together in House Calls (1978). See more »
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 »
Joseph P. Kotcher:
[about his wife and baby son in the car]
She covered all the windows every time she changed him. I don't know why, I don't know what harm it would do people seeing his little pink pecker at 25 miles an hour, but she covered the windows every time.
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Bittersweet film directed by Jack Lemmon features real-life pal Walter Matthau as an unwanted old codger in Southern California who befriends an unmarried, pregnant teenager. The film makes points on several topics (retirement homes, married life in suburbia, the value of the elderly), yet it doesn't use this material to build momentum--and since the film isn't a satire, the humor (often condescending or sarcastic) comes off as smirking. Matthau does a very fine job--he even convinces us he's a baby lover!--but his relationship with the troubled girl fails to ring true (Matthau's pinched, icy daughter-in-law is a worse matter--she's a one-note caricature). At one point, Kotch goes on a road trip by bus and sends back lots of postcards to his son, but director Lemmon doesn't use this segment to bolster the plot (it's too sitcom-like and, with that silly music, plays like a geriatric "Midnight Cowboy" besides!). Lemmon is careful not to flood the movie with teary sentiment; he's generally gracious and attentive, and many of his details are wonderfully wry. The film is likable enough, but overall seems a bit fatigued. **1/2 from ****
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