7.4/10
10,788
62 user 50 critic

The Fortune Cookie (1966)

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

Director:

Billy Wilder
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Harry Hinkle
Walter Matthau ... Willie Gingrich
Ron Rich 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 Noam Pitlik ... Max
Harry Davis Harry Davis ... Dr. Krugman
Ann Shoemaker ... Sister Veronica
Maryesther Denver Maryesther Denver ... Nurse
Ned Glass ... Doc Schindler
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Storyline

A cameraman is knocked over during a football game. His brother in law as the king of the ambulance chasing lawyers starts a suit while he's still knocked out. 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 football player who injured him. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Why was she planted in Harry Hinkle's bedroom? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 October 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Glückspilz See more »

Filming Locations:

Cleveland, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,705,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,000,000, 31 December 1966

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,800,000, 1 January 1968
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was director Billy Wilder's second film in a row in which one of his lead actors suffered a heart attack. In preceding film, 1964's Kiss Me, Stupid (1964), Peter Sellers' health problem forced Wilder to replace him with Ray Walston. In Fortune Cookie, Walter Matthau suffered attack midway through production but shooting was postponed until he recovered; his drastic weight loss from scene to scene is noticeable. See more »

Goofs

Towards the beginning of the movie when Harry is wheeled out after his x-ray, his mother is crying over him. But more than once you can hear her sobbing, but plainly see that she's just standing still and looking at him. See more »

Quotes

Harry Hinkle: Florida and Mustangs and foxes, how are you gonna pay for all of this?
Willie Gingrich: Our credit is good.
Harry Hinkle: Well don't you think we better wait 'til we see some of that insurance money?
Willie Gingrich: Wait? Who waits nowadays? Take the government. When they shoot a billion dollars worth of hardware into space, do you think they pay cash? It's all on the Diner's Club!
See more »

Connections

References Candid Camera (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

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 »

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User Reviews

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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