The Fortune Cookie (alternative UK title: Meet Whiplash Willie) is a 1966 black comedy film directed and produced by Billy Wilder and written by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in their first on-screen collaboration.


Plot[edit | edit source]

While taping a football game, cameraman Harry Hinkle (Jack Lemmon) ends up slightly injured after a collision with star player "Boom Boom" Jackson (Ron Rich). When Hinkle's scheming brother-in-law, lawyer Willie Gingrich (Walter Matthau), catches wind of the incident, he wants Hinkle to feign paralysis to scam the insurance company. Hinkle agrees to the plan, if only to win back his ex (Judi West). But Hinkle's growing friendship with a guilt-ridden Jackson has him questioning the ploy.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Critical response[edit | edit source]

Vincent Canby of the New York Times called the film, "a fine, dark gag-filled hallucination"

Variety found the film "generally amusing (often wildly so), but overlong"

The Hollywood Reporter asserted that the film was "Billy Wilder's best picture since The Apartment, his funniest since Some Like It Hot.

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