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critics consensus

Uniting Jack Lemmon and a never-better Walter Matthau on the screen for the first time, The Fortune Cookie continues director Billy Wilder's winning streak of sweet comedies with a nice snap. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

While taping a football game, cameraman Harry Hinkle (Jack Lemmon) ends up slightly injured after a collision with star player "Boom Boom" Jackson (Ron Rich). When Hinkle's scheming brother-in-law, lawyer Willie Gingrich (Walter Matthau), catches wind of the incident, he wants Hinkle to feign paralysis to scam the insurance company. Hinkle agrees to the plan, if only to win back his ex (Judi West). But Hinkle's growing friendship with a guilt-ridden Jackson has him questioning the ploy.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Fortune Cookie

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Fortune Cookie

  • Jan 31, 2021
    Lemmon, Matthau and Billy Wilder always get the praise, but in this review I'm going to single out Ron Rich and Judi West. Rich plays the affable athlete who thinks he's paralyzed Lemmon's character and the guilt drives him to ruin. West is Lemmon's estranged wife, who comes back to hoping to score big on the swindle job Matthau has cooked up. Both Rich and West are absolutely great in these supporting, yet pivotal, roles (it was Walter Matthau won the best support actor award). It's a shame neither Rich or West landed such plum roles ever again.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Apr 05, 2019
    There's a lot of unrealized potential here but it's worth seeing for Matthau's fantastic performance.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 24, 2018
    Walter Matthau got an Oscar for his epic portrayal of a sleazy, ambulance chasing lawyer who sees a big payday when his schlub brother-in-law (Lemmon) gets creamed while filming a pro-football game, and the action sizzles whenever he's onscreen. The two subplots don't fare as well: the football player who does the damage, drowning in guilt, and the stereotypical scheming ex-wife who returns for the money. As usual with Billy Wilder, it's the cynical view of the modern man blues that provides the comedy.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    Another great comedy from Wilder, this movie is hilarious, fun, and has a great cast. I highly recommend it.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

The Fortune Cookie Quotes

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