Walter Matthau was an American actor and comedian. Matthau was a popular, award-winning stage actor before his debut for the big screen in ‘The Kentuckian’. His obvious talent and success landed him more popular roles and he starred in hit movies such as ‘King Creole’, ‘Ride a Crooked Trail’, ‘A Face in the Crowd’, and ‘Charade’. Most of his early movies were massive hits. He also appeared for TV series and acted in plays, including Neil Simon’s hit ‘The Odd Couple’. His most popular role was often said to be detective Ted Casselle in Hitchcock’s ‘Mirage’. Very few films starring Matthau failed at the box office.
Matthau’s streak of success continued well into the 1960s. His role in ‘The Fortune Cookie’ won him an Oscar. He continued starring in hits like ‘Hello, Dolly’, ‘Cactus Flower’, ‘Plaza Suite’, and ‘California Suite’. Despite an overall successful career, Matthau decided to take the backseat as he aged and only appeared in select movies such as ‘I.Q’, ‘Dennis the Menace’, and ‘Grumpy Old Men’. His final onscreen appearance was in the movie ‘Hanging Up’ in 2000.
Just separated from his wife, Felix Ungar unsuccessfully tries to commit suicide. Perceiving his despondent mood, his divorced best friend Oscar invites Felix to share his apartment till he feels fine. But the two and their house-keeping styles are poles apart; homebody Felix is neat-freak, while fun-loving Oscar is slovenly. Before long, neurotic, obsessively tidy Felix drives sloppy Oscar up the wall.
Reggie meets Peter Joshua on a skiing holiday and decides to divorce her husband Charles. Upon returning to Paris, she finds her apartment stripped bare and learns that Charles has been murdered while trying to leave Paris. She later learns about his sordid past and with Peter by her tries to sort things out. But why is Peter changing his name constantly?
In New York City, four armed men hijack a subway car and hold all the passengers hostage. They demand a ransom amount of $ 1 million and threaten to kill one passenger for every minute it is late.
Fail Safe is a drama thriller film which revolves around the American Air Force, where due to electronic malfunctioning, an incorrect message is sent to their pilots, and they launch an attack on Russian. Now, an all-out war seems inevitable.
A Face in the Crowd is a musical drama film which revolves around Marcia, a radio producer, who decides to give exposure to a folk singer named Larry Rhodes. Over time, Larry gains a lot of popularity, but decides to use it for personal gains.
Hopscotch is an adventure comedy film which tells the story of a CIA agent Miles Kendig, who retires after being tired of a desk job under incompetent superiors. He journeys to Australia, where he writes a memoir that is sure to embarrass his superiors. Within some time, the CIA is out to nab him, which forces him to go on the run.
Cactus Flower is a romantic comedy film which revolves around Julian, a dentist who pretends to be married in order to avoid commitment. When he decides to get serious with his girlfriend Toni, she insists on first meeting his wife. Therefore, Julian asks his long-time nurse and receptionist Stephanie to pretend to be his wife.
Jack Burns, an independent cowboy, feels out of place in the modern world. He purposely gets into a brawl and gets himself arrested to be with Paul, a friend who has been imprisoned for helping illegal aliens. Jack wants Paul to flee with him, but Paul has too much at stake.
The Fortune Cookie is a black comedy film which tells the story of Harry Hinkle, a cameraman who gets injured by a football player Luther Jackson. Although his injuries are mild, his cunning brother-in-law William convinces him to pretend that he has been paralyzed, so that they can receive a significant sum of money from the insurance company.
Hildy Johnson is a successful reporter working for a newspaper in Chicago. However, he decides to leave his career behind and get married to a woman named Peggy. However, when his editor finds out, he decides to go to great lengths to make Hildy continue working in his newspaper.
Based on the assassination of the former U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, JFK centres around a New Orleans lawyer, Jim Garrison, who sets about investigating the mystery behind the assassination while battling opposition from the government. Widely acclaimed as well as heavily criticized, this political drama stars Kevin Costner as Garrison and delves deeper into the assassination of the former president.
Two former best friends, Max and John, who are now rivals, live in the same neighborhood. Their rivalry escalates even further, when a woman moves into the house across the street and they both start to like her.
Ed, a schoolteacher, has been suffering from bouts of severe pain and blackouts. After collapsing at his home one night, he is hospitalized. He is diagnosed with a disease named polyarteritis nodosa, a rare inflammation of the arteries. After learning from doctors that he has only months to live, he agrees to an experimental treatment, which involves doses of the cortisone hormone. Although he makes a remarkable recovery, he soon begins to show some unusual side effects. Soon, it seems that his mental health may be declining.
Dolly is a matchmaker who is currently searching for a wife for Horace, a grumpy man who is a “half-millionaire”. However, soon it seems that she wants to marry him herself, and eventually, she travels to Yonkers to pay him a visit. However, she is met with surprise when she learns that Horace loves a woman named Irene. However, Irene doesn’t love Horace, but is only interested in financial security.
Lewis and Clark were both famous comedians at a time during the vaudeville era. However, off-stage they immensely dislike each other. Although they have not spoken to one another for around twenty years, they are forced to put their differences aside and work together, when a producer wants a reunion of the duo for a TV special.
Solly, a longshoreman is shot and wounded by several thugs working for a union boss. Solly is wounded and hospitalized, and his wife starts taking care of him. Meanwhile, an assistant DA searches hard for witnesses against the criminals.
Max and John are two friends who like to go fishing together. They attempt to save their favorite bait shop from turning into a restaurant.
Voice in the Mirror is a romantic drama thriller film, which tells the story of a man, who falls into severe despair, after his daughter passes away. His doctor warns him that he is on the brink of mental illness. Unable to quit his compulsive drinking, he eventually turns to faith, and tries to create a support group.
Libby is a 19 year old girl who impulsively hitchhikes from her native New York City to Hollywood, California, to visit her estranged father who is a screenwriter. She wants to be an actress, and hopes that her father can help her in becoming a star. However, it soon turns out that her father is not doing too well in his career, and is not in a position to help anyone else.
Pete and Tillie, both in their middle-age, have their own sets of problems. Pete is constantly telling jokes to hide his insecurity while Tillie is still a virgin, too edgy to let herself go. Yet they meet, marry and have a son called Robbie. But there is a long way to go and tragedies to surmount before they can actually be together.
It has been seventeen years since Oscar and Felix saw each other. Things take a turn when they bump into each other at the airport and travel together in a rented car, for the wedding of their children. However, nothing goes as expected as their journey gets filled with misadventures.
Casey, a young boy in a family that trains racehorses, befriends a foal who becomes his constant companion. The film revolves around the duo's attempt to win the All America Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, a horse race.
This comedy film takes us to 1941, during the time of the Second World War. It revolves around the life of an irresponsible college graduate, who joins the US Coast Guard, and starts working as a cook on a ship based in Boston.
This romantic comedy film tells the story of a young mechanic who falls for a young mathematician who is the niece of the renowned scientist Albert Einstein. Soon, Einstein helps the young man in winning his niece’s heart.
Charlie convinces his widowed brother-in-law to join him on a cruise ship, without revealing that they will need to pose as dance instructors. Instead, he promises that there will be many available and lonely women on the ship. Eventually, his promise turns out to be true, as Herb meets and falls for a woman named Vivian, while Charlie begins a romance with Liz, a wealthy widow.
Stuart manages to resolve his marital woes with his wife Remy, but things turn worse when the city is hit by a series of devastating earthquakes. The rest of the story revolves around how common people are affected by this.
Melanie, who initially suspects that her preoccupied husband, Steve Flood, is having an affair, discovers that he is losing money on horse-betting. Concocting a plan, she persuades Steve’s associate Clint to set her up as Steve’s bookie, to save his losses. Instead, Steve starts winning, which makes the syndicate boss search for the mysterious bookie, landing Melanie in a hot spot.
In the year 1659, Thomas Bartholomew, also known as Captain Red, the infamous pirate, is stuck with Jean, his ship’s cabin boy on a raft without any supplies in the ocean. However, fortunately, they are picked up by a Spanish galleon en route to Spain. Eventually, he starts a mutiny and takes over the ship. He also kidnaps the niece of the governor of Maracaibo.
Dennis the Menace is a comedy-drama film which revolves around a mischievous child who wreck havoc on his next door neighbor, George Wilson, after his parents leave him with Mr and Mrs Wilson, while they have to go out of town.
John Burns is a mental patient who manages to break out from the hospital, after which he pretends to be psychiatrist Lawrence Baird. He replaces Dr Maitlin for a radio show. Things get hilarious when his show turns out to be a huge hit.
Jack Martin, a mobster, robs a bank in a small town to earn some quick money, which makes him the target of the local police, as well as a local crime boss.
Hanging Up is a comedy drama film which revolves around three sisters Georgia, Eve, and Maddy, who are all doing quite well in their careers. They are forced to unite when their father falls ill all of a sudden.
Walter Matthau Awards
|The Fortune Cookie||Best Actor in a Supporting Role||1967|
|The Sunshine Boys||Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical||1976|
|Charley Varrick||Best Actor||1974|
|Pete 'n' Tillie||Best Actor||1974|