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

Ellen Geer playing Vera Kotcher, the late wife of Kotch (Walter Matthau), actually later played the director Jack Lemmon's ex-wife in The Odd Couple II (1998). 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

[During the psychological exam, Kotch is shown a Rorschark ink drawing and asked to describe what he sees in it]
Joseph P. Kotcher: An inexperienced spermatozoon, about fifteen years old, asking directions to the nearest fallopian tube.
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

 
A So-So Movie
30 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie when I was a teenager. From what I remember of it, it was a waste of good talent. Walter Matthau did his best acting and Jack Lemmon did his best directing. However, somehow the script just didn't do justice for either one of these two celebrities. I've seen Deborah Winters in other movies and back then it seemed as though she gravitated towards controversial roles such as a 16-year old drug addict or pregnant teenager. I absolutely hate that song "Life Is What You Make It," because they played it throughout this entire movie over and over again; and seeing the pregnant teenage Deborah Winters and hearing Walter Matthau's New York accent as this unusually compassionate older man somehow reminded me constantly of how much I absolutely hate deadbeat teen fathers. I always got the feeling throughout the film that I just wanted a scene in which the teen father of this girl's baby got the tar knocked out of him for being such a jerk. I vaguely recall one scene in which he actually spoke with Deborah Winters after he had gotten her pregnant, but he was more annoying than anything. The kind of teen father that would create a precedent in our court system to make justifiable patricide perfectly legal for all youngsters who have the indignity of having someone like him for a biological father. By the way, I disagree with the title of that stupid song, "Life Is What You Make It." I can't believe that song even won an award. It's crass and callous in its lyrics, because some people are born more privileged than others in the real world and the lyrics of that song just don't own up to that same reality of life. If you have nothing better to do with your time, you may want to give this movie a peek. However, if you have limited time like me, it's probably not worth watching.


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