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Kotch (1971)

GP  -  Comedy | Drama  -  17 September 1971 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 853 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 7 critic

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 »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Kotch (1971)

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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
Darrell Larson ...
...
Motel Manager
...
Dr. Ramon Caudillo
Lucy Saroyan ...
Sissy
Edit

Storyline

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 Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Jack Lemmon's real life actress-wife Felicia Farr played Kotch's daughter-in-law Wilma Kotcher. This is the only time Farr was directed by her husband on a movie. 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 Hollywood Remembers Walter Matthau (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Life Is What You Make It
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Genial serious-comedy with carefully-used pathos
21 February 2007 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

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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