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

Walter Matthau was 7th at the US boxoffice in 1971. 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

Peter Stiel: [offended by Mr. Kotcher calling him "Peter Herzenstiel"] Just "Stiel". S - T - I - E - L.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 44th Annual Academy Awards (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

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

avoid it
21 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

I had never seen Kotch, but had always wanted to because of the presence of Walter Matthau and because of Jack Lemmon as director. It finally showed up on TCM the other night and, after years of waiting, I sadly have to agree with the lone previous viewer who found it wretched. I hate to be, once again, the turd in the punchbowl of hosannas here, but there are no characters in this movie, only cardboard cutouts. Matthau (who I love) is simply not credible here as a man who needs to be put away; his off-the-wall performance never makes us believe he is anywhere close to senile. The opening scene, with its aforementioned treacly 70's score, is predictive of the dreck to come. The movie is never played for human drama but only for cheap laughs, and those are few and far between. In the end I did what I rarely do, i.e. said to myself "why I am torturing myself," shut it off, and put on a good Laurel and Hardy movie.


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