CHARLEY IS A SURGEON WHO RECENTLY LOST HIS WIFE AND EMBARKS ON A TRAGICOMIC ROMANTIC QUEST WITH ONE WOMAN AFTER ANOTHER UNTIL HE MEETS UP WITH ANN, A SINGULAR WOMAN, CLOSER TO HIS OWN AGE, WHO IMMEDIATELY AND UNEXPECTEDLY ... more »CAPTURES HIS HEART.« less
"This laid back romantic comedy from 1978 is a real treat, particularly because of the performances. Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson were so wonderfully combustible in the movie, they were again paired in 'Hopscotch', though oddly in the second film, they spent little time on screen together. Art Carney is a riot as a bumbling Chief of Staff, and all the supporting performances, from Richard Benjamin to the always delightful Candace Azzara, are equally enjoyable. Howard Zieff has a lackadaisical directing style that perfectly suits the material and actors. He basically gets out of the way and lets everyone shine. If you have not seen this movie, give it a try. (It was so successful it was made into a sitcom the following year, but without Matthau and Jackson, it didn't really go anywhere.)
One odd and rather irritating thing, though: The movie has the obligatory 70's love montage in the middle. In the original film, and in the TV versions and VHS versions, The Beatles `Something in the Way She Moves' was the background music, and it was just wonderful. The film was cut to the music, and it really had an impact on the two leads' relationship. Michael Jackson and Co (unless he has since sold the rights) must not have allowed the music to be used on the DVD, or made a ridiculous demand, for the song is missing. There is just some mediocre filler music behind the montage and it really hurts that section of the film. It's annoying they were not able to put the movie on DVD in its original form. "
J. Merritt | 09/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Walter as a frisky widower;Glenda as his soul-mate/ nemisis;Art Carney as a bumbling Medical Director;and Richard Benjamin as the sarcastic Voice-of-Reason..plus....Walter in a babushka...all add up to a wonderfully romantic,hysterically funny look at the dating game. There will never be another Walter, so get this one and savor one of his best performances. What a sweet guy he must have been.It just shines through in this role."
Lighter Than Air, and What's Wrong With That?
J. Merritt | 12/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In a career that featured a wealth of great comic performances, Walter Matthau gave few that were more delightful and relaxed than this one. In contrast to the wonderfully over-the-top style he displayed while winning an Oscar for "The Fortune Cookie" and being nominated for another in "The Sunshine Boys," Matthau employed a lighter but equally effective comic touch for this 1978 romantic comedy. He plays a widowed doctor who is over his grief and ready to sow some wild oats, only to find that he's fallen for a woman who wants nothing to do with his playboy ways. Glenda Jackson, who later left acting to join the British parliament, is a perfect match for Matthau's game, and the two trade barbs beautifully in a film that plays so leisurely that it's over before you know it. Look for superb supporting performances from Richard Benjamin as well as Art Carney as the dottering and caustic hospital administrator. He hams it up wonderfully in a part far removed from the nice guy he played in "The Honeymooners." This is one of those movies that looks like it was fun to make. It's definitely fun to watch."
Light Tracy-Hepburn-Style Romp Takes Well-Aimed Jabs at Gree
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 08/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember seeing this 1978 comedy at one of the bargain matinees I took in when I was looking for a study break from my college courses. Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson do some effective Tracy-Hepburn-style thrusting-and-parrying in this featherweight romp directed by the reliable Howard Zieff (he did "Private Benjamin") about a newly widowed doctor's aggressive re-entry into the dating game. It all breezes by quickly primarily thanks to the clever script by veteran screenwriter Julius J. Epstein ("Casablanca") along with Alan Mandel, Max Shulman and future director Charles Shyer.
Dr. Charley Nichols has just come back from Hawaii after his wife's death. Upon his return, he becomes aware that he is instant catnip to any and all the single women in LA. He works in a hospital run by an increasingly senile chief-of-staff, Amos Willoughby, whom Charley has to pacify to keep his residency. Enter Ann Atkinson, a transplanted Englishwoman who bakes cheesecakes for a living and has certain concrete opinions about the medical profession, which she expresses freely on a PBS talk show. Of course, Charley is on the show's discussion panel, and sparks, as they say, fly. This leads to the standard complications about how serious Charley is willing to become about Ann. At the same time, the hospital has to deal with a potential wrongful death lawsuit from the widow of a rich baseball team owner who died at the hospital under Willoughby's careless supervision.
It's just refreshing to see such a mature yet bracing love story between two characters inhabited by actors who deliver lines with the scalpel-wielding skill of surgeons. Matthau is his usual 1970's curmudgeonly swinger and quite a sight waddling with his gangly arms held akimbo in his power walk. Away from her heavy, award-winning Elizabethan roles, Jackson is crisply sardonic and charmingly vulnerable as the feisty Ann, who thinks all doctors should aspire to be Albert Schweitzer. Art Carney plays Willoughby with predictable bluster, while Richard Benjamin provides amiable support as Charley's colleague, Dr. Solomon. It's all very compact with a few nice jabs at the greed within the medical profession. There are no extras on the 2005 DVD."
Clean Romantic Comedy
Ronald P. Scott | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very enjoyable movie that we watch over and over. Nice music. From this movie we purchased the CD Moonlight Gambler/ Frankie Laine. We also purchased the Movie Hop Scotch on Dec 28 and have not received it as yet."