McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return 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 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Adele's '25' Official First Week U.S. Sales: 3.38 Milli...
Adele announces first tour since 2011 for album "25" ...
Kathie Lee Gifford's Family Reveals Her Late Husband Fr...
American Music Awards 2015: Proximity to action matters...
Brad Pitt Says He's 'Angry' at the Finance Industry Aft...
Adele Speaks Exclusively on New Music:'The Most Poignan...
'The Walking Dead' reveals Glenn's fate ...
Adele Performs on Saturday Night Live: Video ...
Blacklisted: The Inside Story of Dalton Trumbo and the ...
Ryan Seacrest Confirms All American Idol Judges Will Re...

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


music, adele, 25, 3.38 million copies, nsync, no strings attached, 21, tour europe, spotify, apple music, pandora music inc., television, frank gifford, nfl hall of famer, sportscaster, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, kathy lee gifford, american music awards, talor swift, one direction, jennifer lopez, selena gomez, nicki minaj, justin bieber, movie, the big short, steve carell, ryan gosling, christian bale, michael lewis, brad pitt, hello, 19, the walking dead, amc, davod alpert, glen, heads up, saturday night live, 25 album, skyfall, nrj awards, graham norton, herbert biberman, john howard lawson, lester cole, ring lardner jr., samuel ornitz, adrian scott, albert maltz, alvah bessie, edward dmytryk, dalton trumbo, reality, american idol, ryan seacrest, mariah carey, ellen degeneres, harry connick jr., keith urban, simon cowell, paula abdul, randy jackson, steven tyler, kara dioguardi, televison, fargo, fx, kirsten dunst, jesse plemons, jean smart, jeffrey donovan, bokeem woodbine, brad garrett, patrick wilson, celebrity, bruce willis, laurie metcalf, misery, broadway debut, paris tragedy, u2, foo fighters, steven spielberg, natalie portman, book, the diary of anne frank, otto frank, swiss foundation, daytime talk, 2000 shows, justin timberlake, jennifer aniston, sequel, animated, finding nemo, finding dory, disney-pixar, diane keaton, eugene levy, inventor, hedy lamarr, google doodle, ecstasy, samson and delilah, bbc music, angelina jolie pitt, by the sea, troubled marriage, mr. & mrs. smith, gwen stefani blake shelton, country music awards, the voice, miranda lambert, jon stewart, john oliver, hbo, wonder woman, nicole kidman, amazonian warrior, gal gadot, chris pine, nick lachey, 98 degrees, pot grower, ohio, nanette lepore, oscar robertson, frostee rucker, the red bulletin, james bond, daniel craig, naomi harris, bond girl, a. o. scott, 1977, star wars, elvis, beatles, sesame street, j.k. rowling, israel, palestine, culture for coexistence, harry potter and the deathly hallows, ricky gergais, 2016 golden globes, hollywood foreign press association, jessica biel, 2015 fashion group international night of stars gala, flip phone, the power of love, huey lewis, michael j. fox, back to the future

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