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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Early in the movie, a poster showing the Browns schedule appears. The Washington Redskins are listed as the opponents for a game on December 5. However, later in the movie, mention is made (in connection with the planned Harry Hinkle Charitable Fund announcement) of the game against Washington being scheduled for November 27. See more »
Matthau saves what could have been a tragically dull film...
"The Fortune Cookie" is a light, lovable con/slapstick film about Harry Hinkle (Jack Lemmon), a sports cameraman who is accidentally knocked down by NFL star Boom Boom Jackson (Ron Rich) at a football game. Hinkle suffers a minor concussion but his lawyer brother-in-law, Willie Gingrich (Walter Matthau) is immediately on the seen. Willie thinks that they can sue for millions of dollars if Harry plays that he's got a "compressed vertebrae", and Harry reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile Boom Boom is feeling desperately guilty and is taking care of Harry to make himself feel better.
This movie is labeled as a comedy but most of the humor is dry and subtle. I'd go as far as to call it out-dated, it was probably considered a lot funnier when it first came out.
Though I guess the only character that is supposed to be actually funny is Matthau's, and he is. Hilarious, in fact. He never misses a beat, every movement and line is delivered in perfect accordance to his character. And considering the guy had a heart attack while working on the film, his drive and proffesionalism is admirable.
Aside from Matthau the movie is a little bland, but not bad. The other performances, from Lemmon, Rich and Judi West as Hinkle's gold-digging ex-wife, are all well-played, Rich gives the most notable performance as the guilt-ridden Boom Boom.
The style, direction and other componets of the film are well too...but in the end Matthau's performance is the only real benefit of this film, but it's a big benefit, and gets a 7.5/10 from me.
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