The Odd Couple, Neil Simon's smash legit comedy, has been turned into an excellent film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Simon's somewhat expanded screenplay retains the broad, as well as the poignant, laughs inherent in the rooming together of two men whose marriages are on the rocks.

The Odd Couple, Neil Simon’s smash legit comedy, has been turned into an excellent film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Simon’s somewhat expanded screenplay retains the broad, as well as the poignant, laughs inherent in the rooming together of two men whose marriages are on the rocks.

Teaming of Lemmon and Matthau has provided each with an outstanding comedy partner. As the hypochondriac, domesticated and about-to-be-divorced Felix, Lemmon is excellent. Matthau also hits the bullseye in a superior characterization.

Carrying over from the legit version with Matthau are Monica Evans and Carole Shelley, the two English girls from upstairs, and John Fiedler, one of the poker game group which, until Lemmon moved in, revelled in cigarette butts, clumsy sandwiches, and other signs of disarray.

New to the plot is opening scene of Lemmon bumbling in suicide attempts in a Times Square flophouse. By the time he arrives at Matthau’s apartment, his amusing misadventures have caused a wrenched back and neck. Staggered main titles help prolong this good intro.

1968: Nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay, Editing

The Odd Couple

Production

Paramount. Director Gene Saks; Producer Howard W. Koch; Screenplay Neil Simon; Camera Robert B. Hauser; Editor Frank Bracht; Music Neal Hefti; Art Director Hal Pereira, Walter Tyler

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Jack Lemmon Walter Matthau John Fiedler Herb Edelman David Sheiner Larry Haines
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