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Buddy Buddy (1981)

During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks into a hotel room near the courthouse, while his depressed next-door neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.


Billy Wilder


Francis Veber (play), Francis Veber (story) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Victor Clooney
Walter Matthau ... Trabucco
Paula Prentiss ... Celia Clooney
Klaus Kinski ... Dr. Hugo Zuckerbrot
Dana Elcar ... Capt. Hubris
Miles Chapin ... Eddie, the Bellhop
Michael Ensign ... Assistant Manager
Joan Shawlee ... Receptionist
Fil Formicola Fil Formicola ... Rudy 'Disco' Gambola
C.J. Hunt C.J. Hunt ... Kowalski
Bette Raya Bette Raya ... Mexican Maid
Ronnie Sperling ... Hippy Husband
Suzie Galler Suzie Galler ... Pregnant Wife
John Schubeck John Schubeck ... Newscaster
Ed Begley Jr. ... Lieutenant #1


Walter Matthau plays a professional killer going by the name of Trabucco, who is on his way to rub out gangster Rudy "Disco" Gambola, set to testify against the mob. As Trabucco heads off to a hotel across the street from the courthouse where he plans to set his hit, he runs into the depressed Victor Clooney, who laments the fact that his wife has left him for the head of a weird Californian sex clinic. Trabucco keeps walking and sets up his rifle in a hotel room. He is disturbed by Victor trying to hang himself in the adjoining hotel room and tries to prevent him from killing himself by restraining him, but Victor breaks loose and climbs onto the ledge of the hotel window. To get Victor to come back in, he agrees to drive him to the clinic to see his wife. The two go to the clinic where Victor's wife Celia informs Victor that she is in love in the head of the clinic, quack Dr. Zuckerbrot. When Victor finds out that Celia is filing for divorce, he heads back to the hotel to kill ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's the beginning of a ferociously funny friendship...in this year's craziest comedy. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The English-language title of both the original French film of which this is a remake (A Pain in the Ass (1973)) and the 2008 film which is a remake of it (A Pain in the Ass (2008)) was "A Pain in the A..." ["A Pain in the Ass"]. See more »


When Victor describes everything he left behind when he abandoned his wife for Celia, among the things he lists is "the Betamax." However, Betamax was not introduced until 1975, and he says he has been married to Celia for twelve years, meaning they would have been married in 1969, so his first wife could not possibly have had a Betamax for him to leave behind. See more »


Celia Clooney: Do you know a woman has 89 erogenous zones on her body.
Clooney: [Counts up to 3 on fingers] . Who says that?
See more »

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 5 minutes from this film for its 1985 network television premiere. See more »


Spoofs The Apartment (1960) See more »


Written by Herman Ruby (uncredited) & Dave Dreyer (uncredited)
Sung by Michael Dees
Arranged by Pete Rugolo
See more »

User Reviews

Lemmon and Matthau were the greatest
5 July 2001 | by Petey-10See all my reviews

Jack Lemmon is Victor Clooney, a man who wants to commit a suicide and Walter Matthau is a hitman called Trabucco.When these two run into each other in the same hotel it can only mean lots of funny moments.Buddy Buddy from 1981 is an excellent Billy Wilder comedy.Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are amazing together and they always were.Unfortunately Mr Lemmon passed away last week on June 27 on cancer.He was 76 years old.That made me and many other Jack Lemmon fans very sad.Walter Matthau died last year.We never get to see this great comedy couple together again. But you can always watch their great movies on TV.This movie is a must see for every Matthau and Lemmon fan.There isn't a dull moment in this movie.Don't miss it.

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Release Date:

11 December 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buddy Buddy See more »

Filming Locations:

Honolulu, O'ahu, Hawaii, USA See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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