Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'The Good Wife' Cush Jumbo Tackles Comparisons...
'Class': 'Doctor Who' Spinoff Series Coming to BBC Thre...
'The Revenant' Trailer: Leonardo DiCaprio Seeks Revenge...
Will Trevor Noah Live Up To The Hype During Monday's 'D...
Watch Eddie Vedder, Beyonce Duet on Bob Marley's 'Redem...
'CSI' being laid to rest after 15 years ...
Big Brother Season 17 Finale Recap: Super Fan & Trombon...
Dancing With the Stars Recap: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hou...
Emmys 2015: Who should win Outstanding Lead Actor in a ...
Shark Tank Robert Herjavec 'Very Grateful' To Have Met ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

MGM Studios DVD presents
The Fortune Cookie (1966)

"There's nothing wrong with my back, if you'd just get off it!"
- Harry Hinkle (Jack Lemmon)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: March 05, 2001

Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau
Other Stars: Ron Rich, Judi West, Cliff Osmond
Director: Billy Wilder

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild language, adult themes)
Run Time: 02h:05m:35s
Release Date: March 06, 2001
UPC: 027616858931
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ B-DC+ D-

DVD Review

Billy Wilder's The Fortune Cookie stars Jack Lemmon as Harry Hinkle, a hapless CBS cameraman bowled over by halfback Luther "Boom Boom" Jackson (Ron Rich) while broadcasting a football game. During his brief stay in the hospital, Hinkle's shyster lawyer brother-in-law Willie Gingrich (Walter Matthau) decides it just might be worth suing CBS, the Cleveland Browns, and Jackson for a cool million dollars. He just has to talk the relatively uninjured Hinkle into going along with the scheme, and enlists the aid of Harry's sorely missed ex-wife Sandy (Judi West) to help keep him off the straight-and-narrow.

The setup is classic Wilder and Lemmon/Matthau stuff. Matthau has a great deal of fun in his Academy Award®-winning Supporting Actor role, as he mugs, schemes, steals dimes from the Unwed Mothers charity box, and generally makes a sleazy nuisance of himself. Lemmon does his usual righteous indignation bit before succumbing to the hope he can win Sandy back, while the guilt-ridden "Boom Boom" brings him flowers, assists him with physical therapy, and cooks meals for him. Supporting performances include very funny work by Cliff Osmond as a private detective assigned to monitor Hinkle's actions, and Lurene Tuttle as Hinkle's mother, who cries at the drop of a hat.

Unfortunately, the premise never quite gels into the comic gem promised by the stellar cast and director. Hinkle's dilemma doesn't evolve much after he gives in to Gingrich's exhortations, leaving Gingrich himself with little to do beyond negotiating with the insurance company lawyers and spending Hinkle's settlement prematurely. Sandy is so transparently selfish that her motives are never in doubt, and "Boom Boom"'s brief flirtation with alcoholism is downright depressing, with no compensating levity.

Perhaps some judicious editing and tightening would have helped, but as it stands, the two-hour-plus The Fortune Cookie contains some very funny moments but doesn't quite work as a whole.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: MGM farmed this transfer out to a mastering facility I haven't heard of before, by the name of Modern VideoFilm. While the 2.35:1 widescreen original aspect ratio is maintained and the image is rendered anamorphically, it just doesn't look very good, despite the dual-layer transfer. The opening credits are so soft the fine print is unreadable, and the image suffers from shimmer and moire effects on fine textures, obscured details, motion artifacts, some edge enhancement and apparent "blooming" on bright areas. The source print is damaged in a few spots, and "cigarette burn" reel-change markers turn up as well. Just not up to standard (though it is clear enough to show crew members reflected in a window in one shot!)

Image Transfer Grade: D


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Frenchyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Fortune Cookie features its original monophonic English audio, in Dolby Digital 2.0 format for ProLogic-decoding to the center speaker, as well as a French 2.0 mono dub. The audio seems to have an inherently clipped character, and a few scenes are "boomy" where dialogue was recorded live. The track is otherwise cleanly transferred, just audibly dated.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:03m:42s

Extras Review: Another MGM rush job, with no extras beyond 16 picture-menu chapter stops (which at least do align to the 16 intertitles Wilder uses to structure the film), French and Spanish subtitles, and the film's original theatrical trailer, in 2.35:1 letterboxed nonanamorphic format drawn from a damaged print.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

The Fortune Cookie starts with a funny premise but doesn't do much with it, despite fine performances by Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. MGM's DVD features a rather poor transfer and few supplements; recommended for rental only.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, the good wife, cush jumbo, archie panjabi, julianna margulies, bbc3, class, doctor who, buffy the vampire slayer, hunger games, steven moffat, brian minchin, movie, the revenant, leonardo dicaprio, tom hardy, alejandro g. inarritu, christmas day release, comedy channel, trevor noah, daily show, jon stewart, music, global citizen festival, pearl jam, byonce, ed sheeran, eddie vedder, cbs, csi, ted danson, elisabeth shue, elisabeth harnois, william petersen, marg helgenberger, big brother, abc, liz, steve, vanessa, julia chen, dr. will, dancing with the stars, bindi irwin, derek, hough, chaka khan, emmys 2015, laurence fishburne, tracee ellis ross, anthony anderson, will forte, jeffrey tambor, kym johnson, shark tank, robert herjavec, jungle book, cgi, scarlet johansson, bill murray, ben kingsley, idris elba, christopher walken, drama, celebrity apprentice, arnold schwarzenegger, donald trump, nbc, taylor swift, bad blood, emmy award, original interactive program, the late show, stephen colbert, ashley madison, horror, silent, epcot international food & wine festival, walt disney world, the chew, october, celebrity, jimmy fallon, tonight show, dj khaled, all i do is win, country music awards, eric church, little big town, miranda lambert, kenny chesney, sam hunt, maddie & tae, kacey musgraves, chris stapleton, late night, jeb bush, george clooney, war room, straight outta compton, faith-based drama, a walk in the woods, robert redford, september 8, documentary, history, movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, mtv vma, njcki minaj, miley cyrus, anaconda, jennifer lawrence, amy schumer, billy joel, uptown girls, chicago

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store