The Fortune Cookie - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Fortune Cookie Reviews

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January 16, 2017
I wish they colorized this movie, the black and white tone, seems to be one of very things hurting this movie. Otherwise, very funny, but a little drawn out.
½ September 12, 2016
A classic comedy! Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon have such great chemistry on-screen, and make this a film worth watching. (First and only viewing - 5/9/2010)
September 5, 2015
One of the better more intelligent comedy movies this talented team made....and that is saying something
September 4, 2015
another billy wilder classic
June 1, 2015
Billy Wilder offers another riff on the insurance scam with this over-long but mordantly witty comedy, superbly performed by the sublime odd couple, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Matthau in particular relishes his role as the world's most devious huckster and is laugh out loud hilarious. It's a pity that so many of the supporting performances are undercast and that Wilder didn't trim a good twenty minutes from the running time, but it's still a delightful entertainment, aided considerably by Andre Previn's lugubrious jazz score.
½ April 26, 2015
Great performances from all but it got a little thin taking place in only one or so rooms.
½ March 25, 2015
Las buenas intenciones y una magnífica dirección del gran Billy Wilder.
November 28, 2014
I've always liked this Billy Wilder film, though I never felt it balanced the bittersweet comedy and dramatic elements as well as his earlier collaboration with star Jack Lemmon in "The Apartment." Here Lemmon is a TV cameraman who gets accidentally tackled during an NFL game. Enter his ambulance chasing lawyer brother-in-law, the great Walter Matthau, and his ex-wife who he still carries a torch for, Judi West, who both see dollar signs as a result of Lemmon's injuries and convince him to fake his pain and suffering. Lemmon is s wonderfully sympathetic sad sack, but Matthau steals the show, which earned him a well deserved Oscar. I'm actually reading Cameron Crowe's interview book with Billy Wilder right now and that made this film all the more enjoyable. There's also a nice score by André Previn. Overall, this film isn't as good as Wilder's best pictures, though that's a pretty high bar considering he made some unquestionable Hollywood classics ("Stalag 17," "Sunset Boulevard," "Some Like it Hot," etc.), but it's still a terrific film that kicked off the partnership on one of the great comic duos with Lemmon and Matthau. As an aside, this film made me want to re-watch "Charley Varrick," which is a pretty different sort of Walter Matthau role, but I need to watch some more of his stuff again.
November 15, 2014
And this completes my Billy Wilder Trilogy of this rainy Saturday. Matthau and Lemmon being funny, but the whole thing growing old at some point. Maybe it was just too long for what it was?
½ May 16, 2014
Pretty good and funny movie. Lemon got to really shine in The Odd Couple, and Matthau gets to here. The relationship between Lemmon and the football player feels so impossible today, I wonder how believable it was then. Funny movie that's aged pretty well.
January 12, 2014
Odlican film, a vi koji niste gledali ko vas jbe!
½ July 21, 2013
Good and wholesome entertainment with a moral telling the story of knowing who your true friends are. The humor is a bit tacky at times, but it still manages to get a few laughs out of you, and definitely smiles.

The inclusion of the Cleveland Browns and the football player being able to cook Hungarian chicken paprika, red cabbage and apricot dumplings added a nice touch of Ohio to the film.
June 19, 2013
The Fortune Cookie is an entertaining film. It is about a crooked lawyer who persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau give amazing performances. The script is well written. Billy Wilder did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the humor and romance. The Fortune Cookie is a must see.
June 8, 2013
The Fortune Cookie. Another movie featuring one of the best duos in film history, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Lemmon alone is always a force to be reckoned with but accompanied closely by Matthau and you have golden cinema, and this movie is no different. Great story and funny the whole way through. A few solid characters and some other more shallow ones but an incredibly entertaining movie nonetheless. It's not the most original and it has a less than satisfying ending, but it flashed by in what seemed like minutes and left me craving more of the duo. Not a "classic" but definitely classic Lemmon/Matthau. 7.5/10
½ April 20, 2013
If you only watch one Cleveland Browns-related insurance fraud caper all year, make it this one.
½ February 22, 2013
THE FORTUNE COOKIE is Billy Wilder's last Black & White feature and marked the first collaboration of the comedy two-hander Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau (ten more times would follow). The story rotates around an accident prompted insurance scam, plotted by Walter Matthau, the brother-in-law of our protagonist, a sport channel cameraman (Lemmon) who has to feign his spinal injure to ascertain a grand indemnity from the insurance company. It may reminisce of Wilder's noir chief-d'oeuvre DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944, 8/10), but it is a self-aware comedy, plays out effectively with a scintillating performance from Mr. Mattau (which deservedly earned him an Oscar).

The picture may be eclipsed by Wilder's other more orthodox great works as aforementioned DOUBLE INDEMNITY, THE APARTMENT (1960, 9/10), SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959, 6/10), WITNESS FOR PROSECUTION (1957, 9/10), which are on my viewing lists only. Nevertheless itself is a well-intentioned conscience and guilt parable, the script derives from Wilder's whimsical idea and feels cosseting its audience with an overdone happy ending, which is too saccharine and slackens the frisson which has been accumulated since the dawn of the swindle (we all know it will receive an anticlimax, the only question remains is how).

Jack Lemmon is as studious as usual, painstakingly exerts great sympathetic effort from his (mostly) wheelchair-and-corset confined character, which doesn't have any cinematic idiosyncrasy to churn out, an ordinary guy who falls victim of the manipulation of his chiseled lawyer-cum-brother-in-law and the sex-driven chimera of his money-grabbing ex-wife's comeback. Walter Mattau excels the rest of the cast with his eloquent showboating of his professional acumen and satirizing punchlines. Judi West is also very competent in playing the double-faced ex-wife, lends her role a whiff of intricacy against the stale women-derogation assumption. Ron Rich by comparison, although serves as a game-changer player in the plot, is a green banana and wanting the charisma needed to persuade viewers to (at least) believe in his side of story. The character actor Cliff Osmond, as the private detective, launches many gags which leave some indelible impressions too.

Texturally speaking, the Black & White images emit a gloss of richness and sentimentalities, the melodic, sporadic score by Andre Previn goes smoothly with the context, not Wilder's best, but still an appealing comedy from the Hollywood golden epoch.
January 22, 2013
walter matthau had a heart attack in the middle of production and they had to stop for a month and he lost 30 pounds so if u watch closely nearing the end hes alot smaller.. n they had to put padding in his clothes to make him look like he did in the beginning
½ January 7, 2013
Walter Matthau's Academy Award was rightfully deserved. They just don't make movies like this anymore.
January 3, 2013
A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.
December 16, 2012
Walter Matthau & Jack Lemmon are one of my favorite comedy duos they play really well off eachother. This dynamic of the idiot who thinks he's smart and the paranoid loser stems from these two. I've only seen it once but the more I think about them the more i want to watch it. Matthau stands like a vulture gazing at its' prey.
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