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Fortune Cookie, The (UA 1966, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau)



In comedy The Fortune Cookie, a TV cameraman (Lemmon) hatches an insurance-fraud scheme with his brother-in-law (Matthau), a larcenous lawyer, when he’s injured while working a football game.

While wrestling with his conscience, the cameraman must also wrestle with the difficulties of masquerading as a wheelchair-bound invalid and with his greedy ex-wife, who returns to the fold in anticipation of a large settlement.

Typically cynical Wilder comedy with the unbeatable team of Lemmon and Matthau in good form.

Jack Lemmon suggested Frank Sinatra or Jackie Gleason to costar in the movie, but Billy Wilder prevailed in his choice of Walter Matthau. The stars would work with Wilder again on The Front Page (1974) and Buddy Buddy (1981).

production details
USA | United Artists | 125 minutes | 1966

Director: Billy Wilder
Script: Billy Wilder, I. A. L. Diamond,

Jack Lemmon as Harry Hinkle
Les Tremayne as Thompson
Ned Glass as Doc Schindler
Walter Matthau as Willie Gingrich
Ron Rich as Boom Boom Jackson
Judi West as Sandy Hinkle
Cliff Osmond as Purkey
Lurene Tuttle as Mother Hinkle
Harry Holcombe as O’Brien
Marge Redmond as Charlotte Gingrich
Ann Shoemaker as Sister Veronica
Archie Moore as Mr. Jackson
Howard McNear as Mr. Cimoli
Harry Davis as Dr. Krugman
Lauren Gilbert as Kincaid
Sig Ruman as Professor Winterhalter