The Fortune Cookie (1966) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Fortune Cookie1966

The Fortune Cookie (1966)



Critic Consensus: Uniting Jack Lemmon and a never-better Walter Matthau on the screen for the first time, The Fortune Cookie continues director Billy Wilder's winning streak of sweet comedies with a nice snap.

The Fortune Cookie Photos

Movie Info

An insurance salesman concocts a scheme to cash in on his brother-in-law's injury.


Walter Matthau
as Willie Gingrich
Jack Lemmon
as Harry Hinkle
Ron Rich
as Luther 'Boom Boom' Jackson
Judi West
as Sandy Hinkle
Cliff Osmond
as Mr. Purkey
Lurene Tuttle
as Mother Hinkle
Les Tremayne
as Thompson
Marge Redmond
as Charlotte Gingrich
Harry Davis
as Dr. Krugman
Ann Shoemaker
as Sister Veronica
Ned Glass
as Doc Schindler
Sig Rumann
as Prof. Winterhalter
Archie Moore
as Mr. Jackson
Howard McNear
as Mr. Cimoli
Robert P. Lieb
as Specialist
Martin Blaine
as Specialist
Ben Wright
as Specialist
Judy Pace
as Elvira
Helen Kleeb
as Receptionist
Lisa Jill
as Ginger
Keith Jackson
as Football Announcer
Herb Ellis
as TV Director
Don Reed
as Newscaster
Louise Vienna
as Girl in Teleblurb
Robert DoQui
as Man in Bar
Jon Silo
as Tailor
View All

Critic Reviews for The Fortune Cookie

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5)

Matthau, with the role of a lifetime at his hands, seizes it and makes it wonderful. As the incompetent shyster, Matthau snarls, cajoles, is breezy and sniveling by turns.

October 22, 2018 | Full Review…

...another bittersweet comedy commentary on contemporary US mores.

August 15, 2007 | Full Review…

Wildly funny in spots...

August 15, 2007 | Full Review…

The friction between the laughs and the cynicism generates more heat than most Hollywood comedies even aim at...

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Mr. Wilder's last film and a comedy of unrelieved vulgarity, but it has style and taste.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

... the team of Wilder, and his equally insightful collaborator I.A.L. Diamond, who manage to shine a light on the nasty and dark side of human nature, as well as race issues. And boy does it feel so very modern.

August 27, 2021 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Fortune Cookie

Walter Matthau got an Oscar for his epic portrayal of a sleazy, ambulance chasing lawyer who sees a big payday when his schlub brother-in-law (Lemmon) gets creamed while filming a pro-football game, and the action sizzles whenever he's onscreen. The two subplots don't fare as well: the football player who does the damage, drowning in guilt, and the stereotypical scheming ex-wife who returns for the money. As usual with Billy Wilder, it's the cynical view of the modern man blues that provides the comedy.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

An underrated bittersweet comedy sparklingly written by the master of cynicism. Tailor made for the antics of the marvelous odd couple Matthau-Lemmon.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

A comical caper from Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau, some great lines throughout, easy watching, a good oldie.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

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