The lucky guy

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German title The lucky guy
Original title The Fortune Cookie
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1966
length 125 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Billy Wilder
script IAL Diamond
Billy Wilder
production IAL Diamond
Doane Harrison
Billy Wilder
music André Previn
Cole Porter
camera Joseph LaShelle
cut Daniel Mandell

Lucky Guy is a 1966 American film directed by Billy Wilder .


The cameraman Harry Hinkle is at a transmission of a football the -Spieles Cleveland Browns by the player Luther "Boom Boom" Jackson knocked over. Hinkle passes out and ends up in the hospital. His brother-in-law, the shrewd lawyer Willie Gingrich, senses his chance: The lawyer earns his money by suing for damages and demands one million US dollars in damages from the insurance company, which he would like to share with his brother-in-law. When Harry wakes up, he doesn't feel any permanent damage. Willie convinces him to pretend that he is partially paralyzed. Harry is initially against it until he hears that his ex-wife Sandy, a moderately unsuccessful singer in commercials, wants to visit him. So he pretends to be seriously injured in order to win it over again.

The three responsible managers of the insurance company suspect a deception and set the detective Purkey on Harry, who bugged his apartment and observed and films from the house opposite. But Harry plays the role of the paralyzed man perfectly, even survives medical examinations until he becomes more and more friends with Luther Jackson. He still believes that he is to blame for Harry's fate and more and more often numbs his guilt feelings with alcohol, which also endangers his sports career. Harry feels guilty about Luther, but on the other hand he doesn't want to lose Sandy again. In the meantime, Sandy has found out about the game that Gingrich has started. She plays along, not because she loves Harry, but because she too wants a piece of the pie to continue to finance her faltering singing career.

After all, Gingrich already has the insurance check for US $ 200,000 in his pocket, but Purkey does not want to admit defeat and threads a ruse: When dismantling the bugs in Harry's apartment, Purkey insults the Afro-American Luther in a racist manner , whereupon Harry leaves the Wheelchair jumps and Purkey knocks out. Harry feels liberated by the exposure of the vertigo and renounces the intrigues of Willie and Sandys. While Sandy is desperately looking for her adhesive cups, Willie winds himself out of the affair by tearing up the check and announcing that he will sue Purkey for insult. Harry looks for Luther and finds him at the football stadium and tries to persuade him not to give up his sports career. The two of them throw a couple of passes, at which Harry falls again and pretends to be unable to move. But of course it was just fun and so the two find each other again.


  • Jack Lemmon was initially intended to partner with two other actors, Frank Sinatra and Jackie Gleason , but Lemmon insisted on Walter Matthau .
  • Production had to be interrupted for several weeks due to a heart attack by Matthau. During this time, his weight decreased from 86 to 72 kg by the end of the recordings, so that he had to wear a suitably decorated black coat to compensate for the appearance.
  • Lemmon's wheelchair ballet ("You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To"), which lasted 3¼ minutes, only required a single recording.
  • After this successful collaboration, Lemmon and Matthau appeared together in nine other films.

German version

The German dubbed version was created in 1966 in the studio of Ultra Film Synchron GmbH in Berlin .

role actor Voice actor
Harry Hinkle Jack Lemmon Georg Thomalla
Willie Gingrich Walter Matthau Siegfried Schürenberg
Luther 'Boom Boom' Jackson Ron Rich Herbert Stass
Sandy Hinkle Judy West Ingeborg Wellmann
Dr. Krugman Harry Davis Horst Keitel
Football reporter Keith Jackson Heinz Petruo
Mr. Thompson Les Tremayne Heinz Giese

Awards (selection)


Laurel Award

  • 1967: Golden Laurel as best supporting actor for Walter Matthau


“A brilliantly staged enigmatic black comedy that attacks greed, stupidity, hypocrisy and prejudice and only lets humanity and friendship triumph over bag tailoring and twisting the right at the (not necessarily motivated) end. Well-played, intelligent entertainment, carried by sarcastic humor. "

“It was with this sarcastic and extremely inventive Billy Wilder joke that the comedic dream couple Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau began working together. Billy Wilder shows in a brilliant production what the consequences of greed, stupidity, hypocrisy and prejudice can be. "

“In dialogue, funny film comedy designed without artificial effects [...] about a broken insurance fraud. Some lengths and a bit of gossip, but mostly a delicious conversation. Recommended for adults with reservations in principle. "

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Thomas Bräutigam : Lexicon of film and television synchronization. More than 2000 films and series with their German voice actors, etc. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89602-289-X , p. 163 / Der Glueckspilz (1966) in Arne Kaul's synchronous database
  2. The lucky guy. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed October 16, 2016 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. ^ Prisma Online , accessed May 3, 2017
  4. Evangelical Press Association, Munich, Review No. 485/1966.