🎥 The Odd Couple – 1968

The Story …

Newly separated Felix Unger wanders New York City in a daze with vague ideas of committing suicide.

Divorced sports writer Oscar Madison and his card-playing cronies Murray, Speed, Roy and Vinnie have assembled in Madison’s Washington Heights apartment for their Friday night poker game.

Murray is concerned because their mutual friend Felix Unger is unusually late for the game.

Murray’s wife calls and informs them that Felix is missing. Oscar then calls Felix’s wife Frances, who tells him that she and Felix have broken up …

Felix arrives not knowing that everyone has already heard that he and his wife have separated. The group attempts to pretend nothing is wrong, but Felix eventually breaks down crying and his friends attempt to console him.

After everyone leaves, Oscar suggests that Felix move in with him, since Oscar has lived alone since he split up with his own ex-wife, Blanche, sometime earlier. Felix agrees and urges Oscar to not be shy about letting him know if he gets on Oscar’s nerves.

Within only a week, the two men discover they are incompatible. Felix runs around the apartment cleaning, picking up after Oscar, and berating him for being so sloppy. Felix refuses to have any fun, spending most of his time thinking about Frances.

While at a tavern, Oscar tells Felix about two English sisters he recently met who live in their building: Cecily and Gwendolyn Pigeon. Oscar telephones the girls and arranges a double date for the following evening.

The next night, Oscar tries to get uptight Felix to loosen up by leaving him alone with the two flirtatious sisters while he leaves the room to mix drinks. Instead, Felix talks incessantly about his family, breaks down weeping, and burns the meatloaf.

Furious about Felix’s ruining the date, Oscar resorts to giving Felix the silent treatment and torturing him by deliberately making the apartment as much of a mess as possible. Eventually, the tension explodes into an argument that results in Oscar demanding that Felix move out.

Felix complies but leaves Oscar feeling guilty for having abandoned his still-in-need friend.

Oscar assembles the poker group to help search the city for Felix. After searching for hours, they return to Oscar’s apartment to play poker and soon discover that Felix has moved in with the Pigeon sisters with plans to get a place of his own.

Felix and Oscar apologize to each other, realizing that a bit of each has rubbed off on the other, with each being a better person for it. Felix promises that next week he will attend their usual Friday night poker game.

After Felix’s final exit, the once slovenly Oscar tells his friends to watch their messes as the poker game continues …

Credits :

  • Directed by Gene Saks
  • Written by Neil Simon
  • Based on The Odd Couple by Neil Simon
  • Produced by Howard W. Koch
  • Cinematography : Robert B. Hauser
  • Edited by Frank Bracht
  • Music by Neal Hefti
  • Distributed by  Paramount Pictures
  • Release Date : May 2, 1968

Cast :

  • Jack Lemmon as Felix Ungar
  • Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison
  • Herb Edelman as Murray
  • John Fiedler as Vinnie
  • David Sheiner as Roy
  • Larry Haines as Speed
  • Monica Evans as Cecily Pigeon
  • Carole Shelley as Gwendolyn Pigeon
  • Billie Bird as Chambermaid
  • Iris Adrian as Waitress
  • Angelique Pettyjohn as Go-Go dancer
  • Ted Beniades as Bartender
  • Bill Baldwin as Sports announcer

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