6.8/10
2,552
44 user 16 critic

The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975)

A suddenly-unemployed executive suffers a nervous breakdown.

Director:

Melvin Frank

Writers:

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

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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 Dee Carroll ... Helen
Ketty Lester Ketty Lester ... Unemployment Clerk
M. Emmet Walsh ... Joe - Doorman
F. Murray Abraham ... Taxi Driver
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 1975 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

A Második utca foglyai See more »

Company Credits

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

The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Jack Lemmon, Anne Bancroft and F. Murray Abraham; and one Oscar nominee: Sylvester Stallone. See more »

Goofs

When the elevator is broken and Edna (Anne Bancroft) is walking up the 14 flights, the two grocery bags she's carrying change arms. The boxes of baggies and crackers are in the bag in her right arm in the lobby, switch to her left arm when she starts up the stairs, and are back in her right arm mid-climb. See more »

Quotes

Radio Announcer: A member of the Albanian diplomatic corps was mugged and robbed today in Central Park, despite the fact that two mounted patrolmen were only a hundred yards away. The Albanian claimed he screamed loudly for two minutes, but unfortunately did not know the English word for "Help".
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User Reviews

 
Jack Lemmon= Awesome!
1 September 2008 | by michael_the_nermalSee all my reviews

After giving a positive review of the (apparently) universally-maligned "Disaster Movie", I thought it'd be nice to give another positive review of a comedy that, unlike the one I've mentioned, is very-well written and stars the cream of the Broadway crop. Jack Lemmon is excellent as the neurotic and ambiguously-crazy apartment dweller, harried as he is by noisy neighbors, chronic unemployment, and Sylvester Stallone bumping into him at the park. Neil Simon is a maestro of dark comedies about harried New Yorkers ("Biloxi Blues" with Matthew Broderick is another excellent example). In spite of Simon's cool dialogue and ability to make brilliant observations about minor events (such as a ransacked apartment), this movie would not be superb without Lemmon's proficient performance. Anne Bancroft seems like the perfect foil for Lemmon to play off against, and she fulfills that roll beautifully. Lemmon shows he as just as brilliant with comedy as he is drama (i.e. "The China Syndrome"), and this movie is just another example of why he was an underrated Hollywood legend.

P.S. Pay close attention to the one-liners disguised as news reports in the voice-overs by Gary Owens.


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