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The Fortune Cookie (1966) - movie overview

The Fortune Cookie (1966)

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Plot Description
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DVD Release Date
 R1: Mar 6, 2001
 R2: 26 Nov 2001

Budget USD 3,705,000

Running Time
2 hours, 5 minutes

Country USA

Studio Mirisch Corporation, United Artists

More info on

Other Titles
• The Fortune Cookie
• Meet Whiplash Willie

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Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy, Scams And Cons, Campy, Sports, Law, Buddies, Suspense, Satire, Infidelity

Tagline: How Harry Hinkle became a fortune cookie

Plot: Starring the legendary duo of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, Wilder's characteristically cynical comedy again explores the corrupting influence of money. When TV-cameraman Harry Hinkle (Lemmon) is slightly injured while covering a football game, Willie Gingrich (Matthau), his ambulance-chasing attorney of a brother-in-law sees the opportunity for a major score. Persuading Lemmon to exaggerate the extent of the damage, Matthau sues the football team, the network and the stadium for a fortune. Meanwhile Boom Boom Jackson (Ron Rich) the good-natured player who ran over Lemmon, guiltily suspends his career to care for his "victim," and Matthau calls in Lemmon's ex-wife (Judy West) whose compassion seems to be stimulated by the sound of money. But the deception begins to wear on Lemmon, who becomes ever more disgusted with himself for exploiting the innocent player, and with the blatant venality of his ex. Matthau however, has no intention of seeing his percentage of a potentially huge settlement go up in smoke. Although Lemmon give a finely-modulated performance as a reluctant scam-artist, Matthau's lawyer, a Volpone-like monster of avarice, has the best lines in a hilarious film that suggest a slight mellowing in the director's perspective on human nature.

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 Directed by
Billy Wilder
Some Like It Hot, Sunset Blvd., Double Indemnity
 Written by
I.A.L. Diamond
The Apartment, Avanti!, Love in the Afternoon
Billy Wilder
Sabrina, Ball of Fire, A Song Is Born
Jack Lemmon
Some Like It Hot, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Apartment
Walter Matthau
Charade, Grumpy Old Men, I.Q.
Cliff Osmond
Irma la Douce, The Front Page, Kiss Me, Stupid
Lurene Tuttle
Psycho, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Niagara
Harry Holcombe
The Graduate, Birdman of Alcatraz, Escape to Witch Mountain
 Music By

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One, Two, Three (1961)
Trial and Error (1997)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Foreign Affair, A (1948)

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