July 8, 2013

Movie Monday: The Fortune Cookie


Henry Hinkle (Jack Lemmon) is a network cameraman who works the Cleveland Browns games. Unfortunately for him, an errant ball causes Browns wide receiver “Boom-Boom” Jackson (Ron Rich) to plow into him on the sidelines. Hinkle is rushed to the emergency room, where his family is waiting, worried sick. All except his brother-in-law, Willie (Walter Matthau). Willie is a classic ambulance-chasing attorney, and before Hinkle has the chance to say “no,” Willie has everyone convinced that Hinkle is seriously injured, and that the network, the Cleveland Browns and everybody need to pay out for his pain and suffering. When Hinkle, a basically decent guy who only has a mild case of whiplash, catches on to Willie’s scheme, he objects – especially when he finds out it involves faking paralysis. But when his estranged wife Sandy (Judi West) hints that she might come back out of concern for him, he decides to play along to win her back.


Boom-Boom feels terrible for crippling an innocent bystander, and tries to make up for the accident by becoming Hinkle’s personal valet. Unfortunately, Hinkle has a conscience, too, and adding Boom-Boom’s concern on top of the massive fraud weighs on him. Can Willie and Sandy keep Hinkle distracted long enough for the insurance company to be forced to pay out?

This movie marks the beginning of the classic partnership of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, and it’s obvious from the get go why the two had such longevity. They are a great team and handle the dramedy of the subject matter expertly. I always have to watch this when it’s on because I just can’t get enough of Lemmon and Matthau. I have a small crush on Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau is always so fantastically enjoyable as an almost-bad-guy. Gosh, now I want to watch “The Odd Couple.” Ron Rich is totally endearing, as well, and helps keep the human emotion in the story. It’s a wonderful, witty comedy with heart.

The Fortune Cookie will be on TCM on Monday, Jul8 8, at 10:15 pm CST.

Honorable Mentions:
Where the Boys Are (1960) – Monday, July 8, 10:30 am CST
Some Like It Hot (1959) – Monday, July 8, 8:00 pm CST
The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) – Monday, July 8, 12:30 am CST (Monday night)
The Seven Year Itch (1955) – Monday, July 8, 3:00 am CST (Monday night)
Gilda (1946) – Tuesday, July 9, 5:00 am CST
Ransom! (1956) – Tuesday, July 9, 11:45 am CST
Comrade X (1940) – Wednesday, July 10, 12:00 am CST (Wednesday night)
Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (1956) – Thursday, July 11, 1:00 am CST (Thursday night)
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) – Friday, July 12, 9:30 am CST
The Women (1939) – Saturday, July 13, 7:00 pm CST
The Haunting (1963) – Saturday, July 13, 2:30 am CST (Saturday night)
The Lady Eve (1941) – Sunday, July 14, 1:00 pm CST
The Magnificent Seven (1960) – Sunday, July 14, 7:00 pm CST
The Seven Samurai (1956) – Sunday, July 14, 1:15 am CST (Sunday night)


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