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MPAA Rating - NR

    126 Minutes


Original Release Date:
    Mar 6, 2001

    Billy Wilder

    Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich, Cliff Osmond, Judi West

Movie Summary
The British title of Billy Wilders classic comedy was Meet Whiplash Willie -- for, despite Jack Lemmons star billing, the movies driving force is Oscar-winning Walter Matthau as gloriously underhanded lawyer Whiplash Willie Gingrich. CBS cameraman Harry Hinkle (Lemmon) is injured when he is accidentally bulldozed by football player Luther Boom Boom Jackson (Ron Rich) during a Cleveland Browns game. Willie, Harrys brother-in-law, foresees an insurance-settlement bonanza, and he convinces Harry to pretend to be incapacitated by the accident. To insure his clients cooperation, Willie arranges for Harrys covetous ex-wife Sandy (Judi West) to feign a rekindling of their romance. Harrys conscience is plagued by the solicitous behavior of Boom Boom, who is so devastated at causing Harrys injury that he insists on waiting on the cripple hand and foot. Meanwhile, dishevelled private eye Purkey (Cliff Osmond) keeps Harry under constant surveillance, hoping to catch him moving around so the insurance company can avoid shelling out a fortune. Wilder and usual co-writer I.A.L. Diamond were at their most jaundiced and cynical here, even if, after a sardonic semiclimax, the last ten minutes succumb to the sentimentality that often marred Wilders later movies. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


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