The story of Mel and Edna (Jack Lemmon and Anne Bancroft), a middle-class, middle-aged, middle-happy couple living in a Manhattan high rise apartment building. Mel loses his job, the apartment is robbed, Edna gets a job, Mel loses his mind, Edna loses her job . . . to say nothing of the more minor tribulations of nosy neighbors, helpful relatives, and exact bus fares. The couple suffers indignity after indignity (some self-inflicted), and when they seem on the verge of surrender, they thumb their noses defiantly and dig the trenches for battle.
...and you think you've got problems.
Did You Know?
The film was made and released about four years after its source play of the same name by Neil Simon
was first performed in 1971. The original Broadway production of "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theater on 11th November 1971 and ran for 798 performances until 29th September 1973. The play was nominated for three Tony Awards in 1972, Best Play, Best Supporting or Features Actor in a Drama - Vincent Gardenia
and Best Direction - Mike Nichols
, it winning the latter two categories. Actress Florence Stanley
reprises her role as Pearl in the movie. The play's setting is described in its introduction as "An apartment in a modern building in New York's East 80s. The Present." See more
The apartment building's supposed address, 385 East 88th Street, is actually nearer to First Avenue than to Second. See more
I haven't had a real piece of bread in thirty years. If I'd known I would have saved some rolls when I was a kid.