IMDb > Kotch (1971)
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Kotch (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Paxton (screenplay)
Katharine Topkins (novel)
View company contact information for Kotch on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 September 1971 (USA) See more »
Avoiding to settle in a nursing home, Joseph Kotcher, a retired salesman, is obliged to leave his son's family... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Bonding With The Oddest People See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Walter Matthau ... Joseph P. Kotcher
Deborah Winters ... Erica Herzenstiel

Felicia Farr ... Wilma Kotcher

Charles Aidman ... Gerald Kotcher

Ellen Geer ... 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 ... Vincent Perrin

Biff Elliot ... Motel Manager

Paul Picerni ... Dr. Ramon Caudillo
Lucy Saroyan ... Sissy
Kim Hamilton ... Emma Daly
Tamar Cooper ... Nurse
Amzie Strickland ... Nurse Barons
Paul Fierro ... Pablo

Larry Linville ... Peter Stiel
Penny Santon ... Mrs. Segura
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Janya Braunt ... Mrs. Pugh (uncredited)
Dee Carroll ... Dorothy Ballinger (uncredited)
Jason Karpf ... Trick or Treater (uncredited)

Jack Lemmon ... Sleeping Bus Passenger (uncredited)

Directed by
Jack Lemmon 
Writing credits
John Paxton (screenplay)

Katharine Topkins (novel "Kotch")

Produced by
Richard Carter .... producer
Original Music by
Marvin Hamlisch 
Cinematography by
Richard H. Kline (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Ralph E. Winters 
Casting by
Barbara Gallagher 
Art Direction by
Jack Poplin 
Set Decoration by
William Kiernan 
Costume Design by
John A. Anderson  (as John Anderson)
Makeup Department
Jean Austin .... hairdresser
Harry Ray .... makeup artist
Production Management
Leon Chooluck .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Dismukes .... assistant director
Harry Hogan III .... assistant director
Art Department
Richard M. Rubin .... properties
Sound Department
Richard Portman .... re-recording supervisor
Jack Solomon .... sound
Frank E. Warner .... sound effects
Special Effects by
Jack Erickson .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Kenneth Adams .... key grip
Tim Griffith .... gaffer
Eric D. Andersen .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Ruth Carter .... location still photographer (uncredited)
James R. Connell .... camera operator (uncredited)
Hal Shiffman .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Robert Willoughby .... special still photographer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Irving Rosenblum .... assistant film editor
Music Department
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator
Dan Wallin .... score mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Maria Luisa Alcaraz .... production coordinator (as Maria-Luisa Alcaraz)
Alan DeWitt .... dialogue director
Susan Dworsky .... special properties
Henry L. Jaffe .... consultant (as Henry L. Jaffe M.D.)
Jeremy Lepard .... title designer
Joe Mazzuca .... script supervisor
Art Sarno .... unit publicist (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
113 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Directorial debut for Jack Lemmon. Lemmon found direction duties both emotionally and physically draining and felt very uncomfortable behind the camera. This was his one and only film as a director.See more »
Factual errors: 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 »
Peter Stiel:[offended by Mr. Kotcher calling him "Peter Herzenstiel"] Just "Stiel". S - T - I - E - L.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Hollywood Remembers Walter Matthau (2001) (TV)See more »
Life Is What You Make ItSee more »


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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Bonding With The Oddest People, 23 May 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

I had not seen Kotch for a long time before viewing my VHS copy today and I was really moved with how good it was. Too bad Jack Lemmon never wanted to try directing again. Maybe had the film won an Oscar or two, he could have been persuaded to try.

I think I finally figured out who Walter Matthau modeled his Oscar nominated performance on, it's Casey Stengel. Casey without the double-talk, but the same non-stop garrulousness that I remember from my youth.

But Casey had his captive audience of baseball writers and fans. Poor Joseph Kotcher is a retired salesman who lives with his son and his family. Though he's an excellent babysitter for his young grandson, he's generally underfoot according to his daughter-in-law Felicia Farr. Son Charles Aidman gently persuades him he ought to move into a retirement home.

But Matthau is just a lonely old man, looking for someone to bond with. He finds someone quite unlikely in the person of Deborah Winters, the new babysitter who finds herself pregnant by her boyfriend Darrell Larson. She moves in with him and not in a retirement home and they have some interesting experiences.

Matthau lost the Best Actor Award to Gene Hackman and Kotch similarly lost as Best Picture to The French Connection. Still I think this one has stood the test of time a lot better.

Marvin Hamlisch and Johnny Mercer wrote the song Life Is What You Make It for Kotch and it lost for Best Song to the Theme from Shaft. That one was truly unfortunate.

Kotch is a picture about the person who's your grandfather, old and a bit crotchety and some times a pain in the posterior as Deborah Winters says. But he's also the one with enough life experience to come through in the clutch.

Come to think of it, one of the things that drove Deborah crazy was his insistence on a car with an old fashioned clutch as opposed to automatic transmission.

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SPOILER!!! Why didn't Kotch. . . miriamwebster
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