Kotch (1971)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Joseph P. "Kotch" Kotcher is an irksome 72-year-old who lives with his son and daughter-in-law. When he learns the family's former babysitter Erica is pregnant, Kotch loans her some money; and when she moves away to Palm Springs, he moves in with her, hoping to be of some use.
Classics , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Walter Matthau
as Joseph Kotcher
Ellen Geer
as Vera
Darrell Larson
as Vincent
Paul Picerni
as Dr. Gaudillo
Donald and Dean Kowalski
as Duncan Ketcher
Jane Connell
as Miss Roberts
Jessica Rains
as Dr. McKernan
Lawrence Linville
as Peter Herzenstiel
Biff Elliot
as Motel Manager
Dee Carroll
as Dorothy Ballinger
Arlen Stuart
as Mrs. Fisher
Kim Hamilton
as Receptionist
Janya Brannt
as Mrs. Pugh
Penny Santon
as Mrs. Segura
Amzie Strickland
as Film Narrator
Jack Lemmon
as Stranger on Bus
Paul Fierro
as Fabio
Ralph Roberts
as Blue Scarecrow
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Kotch

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

...very slow and very gentle...

Full Review… | March 27, 2014
Reel Film Reviews

Walter Matthau gives a compelling, Oscar-nominated performance as a grumpy old man in this melodrama, the only film star Jack Lemmon directed.

Full Review… | August 3, 2012

Great turn by Walter Matthau in aged makeup, and nicely directed by friend Jack Lemmon.

June 21, 2008

Quote not available.

August 11, 2005

Quote not available.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Quote not available.

September 18, 2004
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

Audience Reviews for Kotch


It's ok but the real reason to watch is for Matthau's tamer than usual performance and Deborah Winters' really great performance

Kyle Bailey
Kyle Bailey

It's very interesting to see Lemmon direct for the first and only time and decide to go with Matthau rather than an aged actor. Matthau of course always looked old but here he sometimes hits the mark and other times doesn't. I wonder if the lukewarm result prompted Lemmon not to direct anything else.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Grandpa Kotch (Matthau) may be widowed and old, but he's plenty young in mind, body and spirit. The only problem is that his family members (and everyone else) are too involved in their own lives to take much interest in knowing someone who's - well, old. So Matthau spends his days having his chattiness and compassion ignored. When daughter-in-law nudges Matthau out of the guest room and into a 'retirement village,' Matthau instead slips away, Greyhounding up the coast to British Columbia, dropping postcards back home to his baby grandchild. Matthau eventually stumbles into the life of a pregnant, unwed teenager (Winters), who's been shuffled away to another town, cast off in shame by everyone, to give birth alone. It was an all-too-common, now all-but-forgotten, practice. Matthau sure knows how it feels to be shuffled away by loved ones - so he ever-so-gently takes Winters under his wing. In so doing, he slowly forges for himself a new life where some are pleased to call him friend. Heartwarming, quaint, poignant are fair adjectives regarding Matthau's delivery, sometimes almost saccharine. Think Hallmark. Matthau's life-long career pal Jack Lemmon directs; the film plays so gentle since this project's really all about Lemmon showcasing his dear friend's talent with respect, love and admiration, as a gift from one true friend to another. There's a lovely reoccurring idee fixe called "Life Is What You Make It" from the keyboard of Marvin Hamlisch which, somehow, has been as passed over by time as this film. Straight out of the early 1970s and it shows; this has to be the last time in the history of cinema where a film portrays a doctor making a house call. Twice. RECOMMENDATION: A warm tribute to the talent that was Matthau. Enjoy.

TonyPolito  Polito
TonyPolito Polito

Kotch Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Kotch on our Movie forum!

News & Features