Grumpy Old Men (1993) Poster

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  • The bickering between two lifelong Minnesota 'friends' -- retired school teacher John Gustafson (Jack Lemmon) and former TV repairman Max Goldman (Walter Matthau) -- intensifies when college professor Ariel Truax (Ann-Margret), an attractive and adventurous widow, moves to the block.

  • Grumpy Old Men is based on a screenplay written by American film-maker Mark Steven Johnson. It's said that Johnson may have based the story upon the lives of Winona State theater professor Vivian Fusillo and former KWNO radio station owner/announcer Tod Hurd, who was dating Fusillo at the time. It was followed by Grumpier Old Men (1995) (1995).

  • After visiting John in the hospital, Max informs Ariel about his heart attack and she rushes to John's side. When IRS Agent Snyder () arrives to start moving the furniture out of John's house, Max barricades the door, tosses a dead fish in Snyder's car, and buries him under a pile of snow from John's roof. Meanwhile, Max's son Jacob (Kevin Pollak) has managed to file a restraining order against Snyder, stopping him from auctioning off John's house. Winter turns to spring, and John's friends and family are gathering at church, presumably (to the audience) to attend John's funeral. Turns out that it's not his funeral but his wedding to Ariel. As a wedding gift, Max tells John that he's managed to get the IRS to eliminate the interest and penalties on John's tax debt, reducing it to the original $13,000, which Max has loaned John the money to pay it off himself. However, as John and Ariel drive away in their limo, John discovers that Max has left him another gift...a dead fish. In the final scene, John's daughter Melanie (Daryl Hannah) is visited by Max's son Jacob, and it is clear that they are falling in love.

  • The first movie in which Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau starred together was The Fortune Cookie (1966) (1966). That was followed two years later by The Odd Couple (1968) (1968), which is the film that cemented them together as a starring comedy team. Thereafter came The Front Page (1974) (1974), Buddy Buddy (1981) (1981), Grumpy Old Men (1993) and its sequel Grumpier Old Men (1995), Out to Sea (1997) (1997), and The Odd Couple II (1998) (1998). Lemmon and Matthau also appeared together, albeit not in starring roles, in The Grass Harp (1995) (1995), Kotch (1971) (1971), and JFK (1991) (1991).

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