During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
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 to a hotel across the street from the courthouse where he plans to set his hit, he runs into the depressed Victor Clooney, who laments the fact that his wife has left him for the head of a weird Californian sex clinic. Trabucco keeps walking and sets up his rifle in a hotel room. He is disturbed by Victor trying to hang himself in the adjoining hotel room and tries to prevent him from killing himself by restraining him, but Victor breaks loose and climbs onto the ledge of the hotel window. To get Victor to come back in, he agrees to drive him to the clinic to see his wife. The two go to the clinic where Victor's wife Celia informs Victor that she is in love in the head of the clinic, quack Dr. Zuckerbrot. When Victor finds out that Celia is filing for divorce, he heads back to the hotel to kill ... Written by
When director Billy Wilder was hired by MGM to do an American version of the French comedy L'emmerdeur (1973), he said, "I hadn't been working enough, and I was anxious to get back on the horse and do what I do--write, direct. This wasn't a picture I would have chosen." See more »
When Clooney is looking into the auditorium at the clinic, the door opens outward as seen from the outside. When the shot switches to the inside, the door opens inward. See more »
Hello Mr. Green? Oh, Mr. White... let me speak to Mr. Brown...
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Premature ejaculation means always having to say you're sorry
This is an unduly ignored comedic masterpiece. In his last movie, Billy Wilder went all out and showed that he still had it in him. Not that I'd had any doubts beforehand. I usually don't obsess about the cast, but in this case I'll make an exception: Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Paula Prentiss and Klaus Kinski make a memorable (and unlikely) lineup of some of my favourite actors (with the comedic couple Lemmon-Matthau adding up to much more than the sum of its parts). I wonder how Wilder and Kinski got along on the set.
This is the English-language adaptation of French comedy L'emmerdeur (The Bullshitter), which I'm now really looking forward to see.
The only thing I didn't like about this movie was the title.
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