The Fortune Cookie
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
The British title of Billy Wilder's classic comedy was Meet Whiplash Willie -- for, despite Jack Lemmon's star billing, the movie's driving force is Oscar-winning Walter Matthau as gloriously underhanded lawyer "Whiplash" Willie Gingrich. CBS cameraman Harry Hinkle (Lemmon) is injured when he is accidentally bulldozed by football player Luther "Boom Boom" Jackson (Ron Rich) during a Cleveland Browns game. Willie, Harry's brother-in-law, foresees an insurance-settlement bonanza, and he convinces Harry to pretend to be incapacitated by the accident. To insure… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"...another bittersweet comedy commentary on contemporary US mores."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Mr. Wilder's last film and a comedy of unrelieved vulgarity, but it has style and taste."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Though not top-notch Billy Wilder, this cynical satire about an unscrupulous lawyer and a TV cameraman benefits from good acting by Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in their first screen teaming."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It's [the] performances that make The Fortune Cookie worth checking out, because the story itself isn't terribly interesting."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Wildly funny in spots..."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"A very funny film, this morality tale is a deft mixture of cynicism, wit and idealism as only writer-director Wilder could do it."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Good, but probably Wilder's most overrated film."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Matthau is smooth, and a great physical comic."
‑ Kurt Dahlke, Apollo Guide
"The friction between the laughs and the cynicism generates more heat than most Hollywood comedies even aim at..."
‑ , Time Out
"Saddled with a thin story."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The trio would move on to better things, but the comic chemistry was tangible from the start."
‑ , Film4
"The banter between Lemmon and Matthau is, as always, priceless."
‑ Christopher Null,
More reviews for The Fortune Cookie on Rotten Tomatoes