74 user 59 critic

The Fortune Cookie (1966)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 19 October 1966 (USA)
2:34 | Trailer
A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.


Billy Wilder
2,193 ( 5,909)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Harry Hinkle
Walter Matthau ... Willie Gingrich
Ron Rich ... Luther 'Boom Boom' Jackson
Judi West ... Sandy Hinkle
Cliff Osmond ... Purkey
Lurene Tuttle ... Mother Hinkle
Harry Holcombe ... O'Brien
Les Tremayne ... Thompson
Lauren Gilbert Lauren Gilbert ... Kincaid
Marge Redmond ... Charlotte Gingrich
Noam Pitlik ... Max
Harry Davis Harry Davis ... Dr. Krugman
Ann Shoemaker ... Sister Veronica
Maryesther Denver Maryesther Denver ... Nurse
Ned Glass ... Doc Schindler


A CBS cameraman is accidentally knocked out during a football game in Cleveland. His brother-in-law, William "Whiplash Willie" Gingrich, is the king of the ambulance chasing lawyers and starts a suit while he's still unconscious. The cameraman is against it until he hears that his ex-wife will be coming to see him. He pretends to be injured to get her back, but also sees what the strain is doing to the Cleveland Browns player who injured him. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Is he a spy? A security risk? Is he unfaithful? Or is he a nice, normal shnook - out to make a million bucks by sheer accident! See more »


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


On the third day of filming, Billy Wilder gave Walter Matthau a direction with which he disagreed. Instead of arguing, Matthau said, "You speak kind of funny, Billy - are you from out of town." See more »


Kieth Jackson spent his entire career with ABC. The locations trucks at the beginning and references later were all to CBS....... See more »


Harry Hinkle: [as Doc Schindler is about to give him a shot of Novocain in the arm] I sure hope they don't give me a saliva test.
See more »


Referenced in American Dreams: Starting Over (2005) See more »


You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
Sung by Judi West
Also strains played throughout the movie
See more »

User Reviews

Takes Too Long to Crumble
17 November 2009 | by kenjhaSee all my reviews

A greedy lawyer convinces his cameraman brother-in-law to sue after the latter is inadvertently hit by a football player while filming an NFL game. In the first of several films to pair Lemmon and Mathau, the actors play roles typical of their collaborations, with the former a decent, neurotic fellow and the latter a shyster. After "The Apartment," Wilder never quite achieved the success he experienced earlier in his great career as he was churning out one classic after another. This is a product of his declining years - not bad but not very funny either and far too long for a comedy. Whatever happened to West, the attractive actress who plays Lemmon's ex-wife?

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Release Date:

19 October 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fortune Cookie See more »

Filming Locations:

Cleveland, Ohio, USA See more »


Box Office


$3,705,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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