Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie

Director: Billy Wilder

Cast: Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich

     
 

Even though Billy Wilder himself thought that he was never again able to make a picture as sublime as The Apartment, many of his later films have merit. His caustic 1966 comedy The Fortune Cookie isn't perfect, but this MGM/UA DVD release shows that other directors would kill to have a movie this good on their resumes. The Fortune CookieSee more details below

Overview

Even though Billy Wilder himself thought that he was never again able to make a picture as sublime as The Apartment, many of his later films have merit. His caustic 1966 comedy The Fortune Cookie isn't perfect, but this MGM/UA DVD release shows that other directors would kill to have a movie this good on their resumes. The Fortune Cookie transformed Walter Matthau from a character actor into a star and it's his first teaming with Jack Lemmon, whose wry, melancholy performance is also wonderful. This bitterly funny, but ultimately tender picture also unknowingly introduced the "healthy guy in a neck brace" routine into popular culture -- and into a seemingly endless number of bad sitcoms. Minus the original theatrical trailer, there aren't any meaningful extras on this DVD, but the widescreen anamorphic transfer is pristine and the Dolby Digital 2.0 audio transfer is equal to the original mono theatrical presentation. Considering that the earlier "pan-and-scan" video edition hacked up The Fortune Cookie, the widescreen presentation alone more than justifies this DVD edition.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Notable for contriving the first -- and one of the best -- pairings of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, this acerbic, late-career Billy Wilder gem marries his penchant for hand-wringing morality plays with a dark, melancholy tone reminiscent of his glum masterpiece The Apartment, made six years earlier. The Fortune Cookie actually benefits from having a villain not quite as insidious as Fred MacMurray's J.D. Sheldrake: Matthau's affable shyster Willie Gingrich. Despite his unrepentant opportunism, Gingrich serves as a benevolent life force: If not for his less-than-airtight scam, Lemmon's Harry Hinckle would never be forced to own up to the havoc that only a meek wallflower like himself could create -- almost by default. The supporting cast is no less splendid, with the under-worked Judi West making a sly turn as the alternately world-weary and kittenish ex-wife who sees Hinckle as a renewed meal ticket, and the subdued Ron Rich as the impossibly selfless football star whose generosity almost does him in -- financially as well as professionally. Wilder's career was made up of films that heartbreakingly detailed the intersection of guilt and guile, and, in its own unassuming way, The Fortune Cookie is no exception.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/06/2001
UPC:
0027616858931
Original Release:
1966
Rating:
NR
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
2:06:00

Special Features

Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Lemmon Harry Hinkle
Walter Matthau Willie Gingrich
Ron Rich Luther "Boom-Boom" Jackson
Cliff Osmond Mr. Purkey
Judi West Sandy Hinkle
Harry Holcombe O'Brien
Lurene Tuttle Mother Hinkle
Les Tremayne Thompson
Marge Redmond Charlotte Gingrich
Noam Pitlik Max
Harry Davis Dr. Krugman
Ann Shoemaker Sister Veronica
Maryesther Denver Nurse
Lauren Gilbert Kincaid
Ned Glass Doc Schindler
Sig Rumann Prof. Winterhalter
Archie Moore Mr. Jackson
Howard McNear Mr. Cimoli
Bartlett Robinson One of The Four
Robert Lieb One of The Four Specialists
Martin Blaine One of The Four Specialists
Dody Heath Nun
Herbie Faye Maury
Billy Beck Maury's Assistant
Judy Pace Elvira
Helen Kleeb Receptionist
John Todd Roberts Jeffrey, Gingrich
Herb Ellis TV Director
Don Reed Newscaster
Robert DoQui Man in Bar
Jon Silo Tailor
Keith Jackson Football Announcer
Ben Wright Specialist

Technical Credits
Billy Wilder Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Charles Arrico Costumes/Costume Designer
Sass Bedig Special Effects
Edward Boyle Set Decoration/Design
I.A.L. Diamond Associate Producer,Screenwriter
Paula Giokaris Costumes/Costume Designer
Doane Harrison Associate Producer
Joseph La Shelle Cinematographer
Robert Luthardt Art Director
Dan Mandell Editor
Robert Martin Sound/Sound Designer
André Previn Score Composer
Jack N. Reddish Asst. Director
Lynn Stalmaster Casting

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Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Logos/The Accident [6:39]
2. The Brother-In-Law [5:35]
3. The Caper [17:07]
4. The Legal Eagles [7:08]
5. The Chinese Lunch [10:12]
6. The Snake Pit [2:33]
7. The Gemini Plan [2:57]
8. The Torch [:00]
9. The Goldfish Bowl [6:02]
10. Return of Tinker Bell [5:27]
11. The Longest Night [8:22]
12. The Other Blonde [9:17]
13. The Indian Givers [7:19]
14. The Taste Of Money [2:13]
15. The Better Mousetrap [5:48]
16. Final Score/End Credits [8:34]

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