7.7/10
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126 user 67 critic

The Odd Couple (1968)

G | | Comedy | 16 May 1968 (USA)
Two friends try sharing an apartment, but their ideas of housekeeping and lifestyles are as different as night and day.

Director:

Gene Saks

Writers:

Neil Simon (from the play by), Neil Simon (screenplay)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Lemmon ... Felix Ungar
Walter Matthau ... Oscar Madison
John Fiedler ... Vinnie
Herb Edelman ... Murray (as Herbert Edelman)
David Sheiner ... Roy
Larry Haines Larry Haines ... Speed
Monica Evans ... Cecily
Carole Shelley ... Gwendolyn
Iris Adrian ... Waitress
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Storyline

Felix's (Jack Lemmon) wife has left him and he is contemplating suicide. His friends sense his depression and one of them, Oscar (Walter Matthau), volunteers to take him in until he is fine again. The two of them are like chalk and cheese - Oscar is fun-loving, gregarious and slovenly, Felix is a shy, stay-at-home, obsessive-compulsive neat-freak. Being around Oscar brightens Felix up, but he quickly starts to irritate Oscar. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Wives! Ever wondered how he'd get along without you? Husbands! Ever long for those good old bachelor days? See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 May 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Extraña pareja See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$44,527,234

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,527,234
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

At the baseball game when Oscar is handed the phone by a colleague that is Heywood Hale Broun a noted CBS sports commentator later turned actor/playwrite/author . He had among other things written scripts for Car 54 where are you and was a contributing editor to the 1980s CBS Sunday morning news magazine . He was very accomplished and had well known literary parents. See more »

Goofs

When Felix and Oscar are entering the apartment (while mad at each other), Oscar slams the door in Felix's face. When the door slams the whole wall shakes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Felix Ungar: A room, please.
Hotel clerk: You alone?
[Felix nods]
Hotel clerk: Luggage?
[Felix shakes his head]
Hotel clerk: How long do you want it for?
Felix Ungar: Oh, not very long.
Hotel clerk: Five dollars.
[Felix isn't paying attention]
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

© Copyright MCMXLVII by Paramount Pictures Corporation

That would read in Arabic numerals 1947. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(1740) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Words by James Thomson
Briefly sung a cappella by Walter Matthau
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Comedy with Heart
7 January 2013 | by itamarscomixSee all my reviews

The concept at the heart of The Odd Couple is laughably simple - so simple that it's been done dozens of times since in both films and TV sitcoms. The recipe - take two characters who are polar opposite in (at least) one aspect of their personalities (neat vs. messy is a popular variant, but there have been others) and cram them in a small environment (often an apartment) and see what happens - hilarity will ensue. Actually, although The Odd Couple can be seen as the original or, at least, the one that popularized this theme, it isn't that much more sophisticated or unexpected than any of the others. Felix and Oscar are very nearly cartoon characters, with the defining feature (neat vs. messy) as extreme as humanly possible. The big difference, though, is in the comedic duo of Lemmon and Matthau (in their second collaboration) who make these characters real, hilarious and so very lovable.

The Odd Couple was adapted from the popular Neil Simon play, but as funny as the play is, it takes a back seat - this is Lemmon and Matthau's show, and they made the most of it. These two had perfect chemistry and comedic timing, but unlike other great comedic duos - Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy - Lemmon and Matthau were both accomplished dramatic actors as well, and in all their films they managed to create characters who are extreme, polar opposites but also very relatable and very convincing as a pair of good friends. It's their acting that makes The Odd Couple not just a good comedy - which it is, but not a great one, there aren't really many laugh-out-loud moments throughout - but also one of the best buddy movies of all time. Though I can't help but wonder if it might have been a better film at the hands of a more visionary director like Billy Wilder, this film isn't about the director but about two of the most likable actors ever seen on film.


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