The Fortune Cookie is a 1966 comedy directed by Billy Wilder, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in their first of ten screen pairings.CBS cameraman Harry Hinkle (Lemmon) is injured when Cleveland Browns player Luther "Boom Boom" Jackson (Ron Rich) collides with him. His injuries are slight, but fast-talking attorney "Whiplash Willie" Gingrich (Matthau, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor) sees the chance for a big settlement if Harry exaggerates them. Following is a comedy of deception mixed with the drama of remorse, as Hinkle sees the effects the con has on the guilt-ridden player.
- Ambulance Chaser: Whiplash Willie.
- Batman Gambit: The PI Purkey successfully employs one of these against Hinkle.
- Deliberately Monochrome: This was the last of Wilder's films shot in black and white. In part this is to mirror TV production values, where most shows were still aired in B&W, although this changed soon afterwards.
- Frivolous Lawsuit / Insurance Fraud
- Gold Digger: Harry Hinkle's ex-wife reenters the picture when she thinks he's going to get rich off the lawsuit.
- Hilarity Sues
- Obfuscating Disability
- Pretend Prejudice: Part of the aforementione Batman Gambit.
- Spectator Casualty: An incident of this starts the plot when Hinkle is accidentally knocked down by a football player.