When I saw the opportunity to review this DVD I jumped at the chance. The Odd Couple was one of those movies that got away from me. I always intended to see it but just never got around to it. I grew up on the TV version and heard friends referencing lines from the movie “Again with the finger!” I even had it saved on my old SAT 60 Tivo but the hard drive crashed before I could see it.
Well, I was not disappointed. The Odd Couple is a wonderful movie. Neil Simon comedy at it’s best with a PERFECT cast. The only complaint I had was how short the movie seemed because it was so enjoyable. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau ARE Felix Unger the compulsive neat nick hypochondriac and Oscar Madison the slob, a mismatched pair of midlife divorcees that become roommates. Lemmon so effortlessly acting the opening sequence that was added from the play for the movie. Matthau becomes Oscar in his introduction to the movie, all the more of an amazing performance because as we find out in one of the extras he had a broken arm during filming. The interplay between the two is smooth as silk and led the pair to be teamed up in several other pictures and to become life long friends.
The movie moves with precision of a finely tuned clock through Simon’s screenplay. Another tidbit from the extras was that one of the reasons they got such great performances was because they rehearsed the movie for 8 weeks before filming started.
Composer Neal Hefti’s scoring works so well with the movements of the comedy and drama of the scenes and the theme will be in your head for days. Gotta love that theme.
The packaging of the DVDs gives you a lot of extras.
Disc 1 is the movie and offers a commentary track with Chris Lemmon and Charlie Matthau, the sons of the original stars. It’s sort of a rambling reminiscing by two friends with nice tidbits. I enjoy this kind of commentary.
Disc 2 has all the extras. You get five short retrospective featurettes:
- In the Beginning
- Inside The Odd Couple
- Memories from the Set
- Matthau and Lemmon
- The Odd Couple: A Classic
All of these feature Chris Lemmon and Charlie Matthau, director Gene Saks, actress Carole Shelley (one of the Pigeon sisters), actor David Sheiner (poker buddy “Roy”), studio boss Robert Evans, talk show host Larry King and Brad Garret who played “Murray the Cop” on Broadway. They are remembrances and stories about the making of the movie and the actors. Mostly a love fest with a good story by Evans about the deal to get Lemmon in the movie that could have been in “The Kid Stays In The Picture”.
Also thrown in are two galleries of the making of the movie and the theatrical trailer.
All in all this is a worthy DVD release of number 17 on AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Laughs list of great comedies and a comedy you should own.