A suddenly-unemployed company executive suffers a nervous breakdown, and his supporting wife tries everything to console him and pick up the slack.

Director:

Melvin Frank

Writers:

Neil Simon (play), Neil Simon (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Mel Edison
Anne Bancroft ... Edna Edison
Gene Saks ... Harry Edison
Elizabeth Wilson ... Pauline
Florence Stanley ... Pearl
Maxine Stuart ... Belle
Ed Peck ... Man Upstairs
Gene Blakely Gene Blakely ... Charlie
Ivor Francis ... Psychiatrist
Stack Pierce Stack Pierce ... Detective
Patricia Marshall Patricia Marshall ... Woman Upstairs
Dee Carroll ... Helen
Ketty Lester Ketty Lester ... Unemployment Clerk
M. Emmet Walsh ... Joe - Doorman
F. Murray Abraham ... Taxi Driver
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...and you think you've got problems.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During pre-production, writer Neil Simon flew from New York to Hollywood to attend rehearsals to do any necessary rewrites as requested by director Melvin Frank due to the dark tone of the work, a black comedy. However, after a time, Simon became sick in LA and had to fly back home instructing Frank to "make any changes in the script as he saw fit". See more »

Goofs

The apartment building's supposed address, 385 East 88th Street, is actually nearer to First Avenue than to Second. See more »

Quotes

Edna: I thought you wanted to do something, help him.
Harry Edison: We *do* want to help him!
Edna: Then help him!
Harry Edison: Not when he's sick. When he's better, we'll help him.
See more »

User Reviews

A Hearty Approval of a Wonderful Film
23 September 1999 | by ColbySee all my reviews

Being a Jack Lemmon fan, I can't help but be biased when it comes to watching his films. But I have to say, even by Lemmon's standards, "Prisoner" is one of his finest performances. He displays a broad range of emotion as Mel Edison, a corporate exec who falls victim to the unemployment crisis of the seventies. Anne Bancroft is nicely cast as his wife, Edna--it's almost hard to believe watching this film that this is the same woman who played in "G.I. Jane" as a crooked senator. And, although another viewer here frowned upon the casting of Gene Saks' as Mel's brother Harry, I always enjoy seeing the director in front of the camera (Saks directed another of my faves, "The Odd Couple"). The direction is pretty tight, and the interludes between acts include humorous voice-overs from a fictional radio announcer (you'll have to listen closely to catch some of the jokes). Look for Sylvester Stallone in a cameo appearance. I heartily recommend this film to all Jack Lemmon fans, as well as to those who enjoy a good comedy that's not all slapstick and guffaws.


15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 53 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 1975 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Prisoner of Second Avenue See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed