Tag Archives: Walter Matthau

Joseph Sargent – The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Synopsis:
Right under everyone’s noses, a determined gang of four colour-coded and armed-to-the-teeth criminals manage to take over New York City’s Pelham 1-2-3 subway train. In a confined metro rail coach crammed with eighteen helpless passengers, the ruthless criminals threaten to start killing one hostage a minute, unless a massive one-million-dollar ransom in cash is delivered within an hour. Under those circumstances, a frenzied race against time begins, as the gruff Transit Authority police lieutenant, Zachary Garber, tries to outwit his cunning adversary, Mr Blue. However, above the surface, chaos reigns. Will they deliver the money in time before the first man dies? Read More »

Billy Wilder – The Front Page (1974)

Quote:
Billy Wilder’s 1974 remake of the Ben Hecht – Charles MacArthur play The Front Page, famously adapted 34 years before, by Howard Hawks as His Girl Friday, is widely regarded as that point in time when Wilder’s art went into rapid decline, that the picture demonstrated that the director of Sunset Boulevard, Ace in the Hole, and The Apartment had lost his confidence, that he had become out of step with the times and could no longer connect with the tastes of a changing movie-going audience. In fact The Front Page is a reasonably successful adaptation, darkly cynical like most of Wilder’s best work. Wilder and collaborator I.A.L. Read More »

Edward Dmytryk – Mirage (1965)

Synopsis:
David Stillwell makes his way down several flights of stairs in the dark after the lights suddenly go out in his office building. He is accompanied by an attractive woman. Thanks to his flashlight, he can see her, but she can’t see him. Still, she assumes she knows him by his voice and talks to him about someone named The Major, as if he should know who that is. The day becomes stranger when he gets outside the building and discovers that someone has apparently committed suicide by jumping out of a window. Read More »

Billy Wilder – The Fortune Cookie (1966)

Synopsis:
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. Read More »

Stanley Donen – Charade (1963)



Plot:
Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Who can she trust?

Review:
Stanley Donen’s Charade occupies a special place among sixties thrillers. In an era of spy films resplendent with macho-driven eroticism (the James Bond series), cynicism (Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer series), or farcical irreverence (Casino Royale; the Flint movies, with Charade costar James Coburn), it was the only successful take on the genre to place a woman at its center. Read More »

Gene Saks – The Odd Couple [+Extras] (1968)

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by Bill Gibron:
There was a time, a little less than four decades ago, when Neil Simon was the literary benchmark of both Broadway and the Silver Screen. After a successful stint as a TV scribe on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, the soon to be phenomenon went on to create such Great White Way staples as Barefoot in the Park, Sweet Charity, Plaza Suite, and The Prisoner of Second Avenue. In 1966, he had four shows running at once and it wasn’t long before Hollywood came calling.

After adapting his Come Blow Your Horn and Park for the big screen, Simon was given the complicated task of translating his mega-hit The Odd Couple as a movie. While the studios would accept Oscar- and Tony-winner Walter Matthau as Oscar, Art Carney’s cinematic clout as Felix was questioned. Luckily, director Gene Saks hired friend and Fortune Cookie co-star Jack Lemmon as the notorious neat freak. The rest, as they say, is motion picture history. Read More »