Felix's (Jack Lemmon) wife has left him and he is contemplating suicide. His friends sense his depression and one of them, Oscar (Walter Matthau), volunteers to take him in until he is fine again. The two of them are like chalk and cheese - Oscar is fun-loving, gregarious and slovenly, Felix is a shy, stay-at-home, obsessive-compulsive neat-freak. Being around Oscar brightens Felix up, but he quickly starts to irritate Oscar.Written by
Walter Matthau, who played Oscar in both the original Broadway play and the movie, asked the play's author, Neil Simon, if he could play Felix instead. This was because Matthau thought Oscar's personality was too similar to his own and the role would be too easy; whereas playing the persnickety Felix would be a real acting challenge. Simon replied, "Walter, go and be an actor in somebody else's play. Please be Oscar in mine." Matthau finally agreed to it. See more »
In the restaurant, after the waitress leaves, while Oscar is laughing, Felix picks up his handkerchief and starts folding it. Then in the next shot, he picks it up and starts folding it again. See more »
Neil Simon's play was successfully transferred to the big screen in this hilarious film with stars Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as Felix Unger(Super neat but depressed) & Oscar Madison(Super slob but happy). After Felix's wife leaves him, friend Oscar invites him to move in with him for a while(concerned he might kill himself) not counting on the disruption of his life this will cause.
Both Lemmon & Matthau are superb, perfectly cast and bring both unique characters to memorable life. Viewer will most likely identify with one character over the over, but that's to be expected. So many funny scenes and supporting characters, though does tip a bit too much in sympathy with Oscar, Lemmon is so appealing that story doesn't feel lopsided.
This inspired the famous sitcom with Tony Randall & Jack Klugman.
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