A Tribute To Jack Lemmon

Sundays and Mondays,
September 16 - October 22, 2001

As we all know, we lost one of the greats this summer, Jack Lemmon. We love him and we miss him and we wanted to bring him to you for a special two-day series of some of his best films - favorites, lesser-knowns, as much as we could muster. Lemmon is a local son, born in Newton and educated at Harvard. He was both a brilliant comedian and a riveting dramatic actor. We've pulled together what we consider the quintessential Jack Lemmon films for this series. In his comedies he was known to play high-strung straight men (except in THE GREAT RACE where goes completely over-the-top playing a drunk Prince and a competitive car-maker) as in THE ODD COUPLE (with his favorite co-star Walter Mathau), THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS, IRMA LA DOUCE, and the lesser-known PHFFT! There are also his dramatic roles, usually centered on a company-man or an underdog who is at a crossroads, from the alcoholic in DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES to the failing salesman in GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. A kind man, a humanitarian, a comic genius, and a fine dramatic actor, Jack Lemmon will be sorely missed.

Sunday, September 16, 2001

Irma La Douce
at 4:00, 9:30
1963 Billy Wilder w/Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi

Wilder and Lemmon join forces with Shirley MacLaine in this hilarious romp through the seedier streets of Paris. This time Lemmon is cop-turned-pimp, Nestor Patou who gets fired from his post and taken in byIrma (MacLaine), a carefree, Parisian streetwalker. MacLaine was nominated for an Oscar for her performance and Andre Previn won for his score. (Also, keep your eyes out for a walk-on role by a young James Caan.)

Sunday, September 16 - Monday, September 17

Some Like it Hot
at 7:00 Sunday matinee at 1:30
1959 Billy Wilder w/Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe, George Raft, Pat O'Brien

A classic Lemmon film, directed by the keen Billy Wilder. A perfect example of Lemmon's comedic style: quirky, jumpy, and a little bit silly. Two down-on-their-luck musicians (Lemmon and Curtis) have to get a job, and quick. Will an all-girl band in Florida work? Well, it works for laughs!

Monday, September 17

It Should Happen to You
at 5:00, 9:30
1954 George Cukor w/Lemmon, Judy Holliday, Peter Lawford

This satirical, romantic-comedy is Lemmon's film debut. Not a bad way to start, alongside Judy Holliday and Peter Lawford! Starry-eyed model, Gladys Glover (Holliday) rents a NYC billboard in order to literally make a name for herself, making her an overnight celebrity.

Sunday, September 23, 2001

The Great Race
at 2:00, 5:00, 8:00
1965 Blake Edwards w/Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Peter Falk

Lemmon plays two characters in this frothy, slapstick comedy made in the '60's but set in the '20's. The fantastic story surrounds a New York to Paris road race across three continents. The competitors travel high and low , with many diversions and ridiculous antics on the way.

Monday, September 24

Mister Roberts
at 5:00, 7:30, 10:00
1955 John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy w/Lemmon, Henry Fonda, James Cagney, WIlliam Powell

Awarded the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as prankster Ensign Frank Pulver, Lemmon proved early in his career to be one of the best comedy actors in Hollywood. Co-star William Powell also retired after his role in this film. Based on the long-running stage play, which also starred Fonda, this WWII film focuses on the crew of an insignificant Navy cargo ship ("the Bucket" ), far from the front lines, and trapped with an inhuman Captain (Cagney). As you can imagine they spend most of their time trying to escape from their unpleasant reality.

Sunday, September 30, 2001

Days of Wine and Roses
at 1:30,10:00
1962 Blake Edwards w/Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford, Jack Klugman

Another of Lemmon's more famous roles as an alcoholic who's life falls apart due to his addiction. Lemmon and Remick, who plays his codependent, alcoholic wife, were both nominated for Oscars for their performances.

Sunday, September 30 - Monday, October 1

Save the Tiger
at 7:45
1973 John G. Avildsen w/Lemmon, Jack Gilford, Laurie Neineman, Norman Burton, Patricia Smith

Lemmon won his second Oscar (this one for Best Actor) for his portrayal of clothing manufacturer Harry Stone. Harry is struggling to keep his life and business together while he yearns for times gone by. Interesting location footage of Los Angeles in the '70s.

Monday, October 1

Library Print!
Glengarry Glen Ross
at 5:30, 10:00 1992 James Foley w/Lemmon, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce

Career frustrations return to Lemmon's filmography with this darkly comic story about desperate real estate agents under pressure to make unlikely sales from bad leads in hopes of saving their jobs. Lemmon is Shelley "the Machine" Levene, a once-hotshot salesman who now can't sell anything - giving us what some consider Lemmon's best performance of his career.

Sunday, October 7 - Monday, October 8, 2001

The Apartment
at 7:30 Monday matinee at 3:00
1960 Billy Wilder w/Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston

Lemmon's underdog character once again struggles amidst the cut-throat business-world. Bud Baxter (Lemmon) lends his apartment out to executives in his office in order to get promoted. One day, while cleaning up after his "guests" he finds he is left with more than he bargained for.

The Out-of-Towners
at 5:30, 10:00 Monday matinee at 1:00
1970 Arthur Hiller w/Lemmon, Sandy Dennis

George Kellerman (Lemmon) and his wife (Dennis) travel to New York for a business meeting. As the "out-of-towners" they are unprepared for what New York has in store for them: a garbage strike, full hotels, muggings, and uninterested policemen. Lemmon's high-strung persona and Dennis' shrill wife are perfection in this comedy of errors.

Sunday, October 14, 2001

at 12:00, 6:00
1991 Oliver Stone w/Kevin Costner, Lemmon, Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Oldman, Sissy Spacek

Lemmon gets to have some fun with his small, pivotal role in this star-studded film. A District Attorney (Costner) investigates the assassination of JFK.

The China Syndrome
at 3:30, 9:45
1979 James Bridges w/Lemmon, Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, Wilford Brimley

Lemmon's weary company-man at a nuclear power plant gets involved with two reporters (Fonda and Douglas) investigating an accident they witnessed at his plant. Without even a soundtrack to divert the audience from the action on the screen, this film takes an unwavering look at the danger when nuclear power and the business world meet.Within two weeks of the release of THE CHINA SYNDROME the explosion at Three Mile Island occurred.

Monday, October 15

Bell, Book & Candle
at 7:30
1958 Richard Quine w/Lemmon, Kim Novak, James Stewart, Ernie Kovacs, Elsa Lanchester

Lemmon plays a different kind of character in this romantic comedy about witches, warlocks, and black cats. He's a beatnik warlock and brother to Novak's sultry witch. Novak casts a love spell on her unsuspecting neighbor (Stewart) only to find that she is in love as well - a curse for witches.

at 5:30, 9:45
1954 Mark Robson w/Lemmon, Judy Holliday, Jack Carson, Kim Novak

Lemmon's follow up to IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU has him starring as his famous confused, befuddled self - a character that would become a trademark in his career. Holliday and Lemmon are a newly divorced couple who are finding it very difficult to be single again, especially since they run into each other all the time!

Sunday, October 21 - Monday, October 22, 2001

The Odd Couple
at 7:30 Sunday matinee at 2:45
1968 Gene Saks w/Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Herb Edelman, John Fiedler

Meet Felix Unger, one of Lemmon's most famous roles. Felix is a man so fastidious and obsessive his wife has left him, forcing him to move in with the slovenly Oscar (Matthau). A slassic with one of the all-time great comedic duos.

The Fortune Cookie
at 5:00, 9:45
1966 Billy Wilder w/Lemmon, Matthau, Ron Rick, Judi West, Cliff Osmond

Before there was THE ODD COUPLE, there was THE FORTUNE COOKIE. Billy Wilder, Walter Matthau, and Jack Lemmon joined forces for the first time - and realized how good the combination was. Matthau's scheming lawyer convinces naive brother-in-law (Lemmon) to sue for an injury he doesn't have.

©The Brattle Film Foundation. All rights reserved worldwide. The Brattle Film Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit, supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.