Lemmon and Matthau or Matthau and Lemmon.

Really makes no difference to me as I have appreciated both of these actors during my viewing adventures in equal doses. Both have done a fine job at varying their career choices between outright dramatic films and bringing joy and laughs to audiences all around the globe.

The first teaming under Billy Wilder’s guidance resulted in an Oscar for Walter. Lemmon on Walter’s shifty lawyer, “He’s so full of twists. He starts to describe a donut and it comes out a pretzel. ”

fortune cookie poster

The iconic teaming of Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar. Matthau on his roommate, ” I know him. He’s too nervous to kill himself. Wears his seat belt in a drive-in movie. ”


Lemmon directed only one film in his lengthy career titled Kotch in 1971. Any idea who he enlisted to take the leading role?

Back to Billy Wilder for a couple more flicks……



While the duo never shared any scenes together both actors turned up in the star studded J.F.K. from Oliver Stone.

27 years after their first teaming they proved to still be a viable box office teaming in Grumpy Old Men which led to a succession of pairings late in life.

The insults fly fast and furious as they vie for the hand of Ann-Margret.

Matthau, “Good morning Dickhead.”

Lemmon, “Hello Moron.”

grumpy old men

Walter’s son Charles directed The Grass Harp in 1995 featuring the boys in an ensemble piece with Roddy McDowall, Piper Laurie, Sissy Spacek and Joe Don Baker among others.

grass harp

Sequel fever brings Sophia into the mix for more fun and games.

Walter pipes in on the Italian import, “I just met a girl named Maria! And now I plainly see, she’s not the bitch I thought she would be! ”


They rounded out their films with Out to Sea and a poorly thought out sequel to the Odd Couple but that last title can’t tarnish my fun recollections of the laughs they supplied in a succession of winning comedies.

OUT TO SEA, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, 1997