Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 3rd, 2017
BluRay released: April 18th, 2017
Approximate running times: 126 Minutes
Aspect Ratios: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Twilight Time
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95
The Fortune Cookie was co-written and directed by Billy Wilder whose other notable films include, Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like it Hot and The Apartment. Key collaborators on The Fortune Cookie include, cinematographer Joseph LaShelle (I Was a Teenage Werewolf, The Long, Hot Summer), composer André Previn (Irma la Douce, Kiss Me, Stupid) and screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond, a frequent collaborator of Billy Wilder’s.
Comedy and tragedy, go hand in hand. And when executed effortlessly, these two elements create a synergy that transcends what has become that all too familiar by the numbers gutter humor that is so prevalent in modern comedy cinema.
Another area where comedy has changed drastically over the decades, is in regards to what subject matter is considered acceptable. With the emphasis in modern comedy cinema drastically distancing itself away from the essence of what the best comedies endure and resonate beyond the era from which it originated.
And a perfect example of film that falls into this category is The Fortune Cookie, a film that features a premise which is built up around a protagonist’s psychical and emotional suffering. His suffering is compounded by his brother in law lawyer who specializes in frivolous lawsuits. And things start to pile on when his gold digging ex-wife enters the fray.
The tragedy in this film is rooted in the protagonist’s relationship with the football player named Luther ‘Boom Boom’ Jackson who lead to his injury. And out of guilt Luther decides to help the protagonist in his recovery. This then leads to the two forging a friendship and this film’s moment of truth arrives when the tables turn and Luther is the one who needs help.
This film features a rock-solid premise and the narrative is perfectly paced. And though there is never a shortage of humorous moments. There film also excels when it shifts to more dramatic moments, most notable it’s aforementioned finale.
The characters are well defined and the entire cast are all exceptional in their respective roles. This film would mark the first time that Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau had worked together. And their chemistry is undeniable. And Walter Matthau would a best supporting actor Oscar for his performance in the role of the ambulance chasing brother in law lawyer.
From a production standpoint, there is not an area where this film does not deliver and then some. Visually the film does a superb job setting and maintaining the mood. Standout moments include, a scene where the brother in law lawyer realizes that his client is being watched and listened too by private investigators. And the scene where the protagonist who has finally reached his breaking point reveals the truth about his injury.
The Fortune Cookie comes on a 50 GB dual layer (32.2 GB) BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Details look sharp, grain looks natural, there are no issues with compression, contrast and black remain strong throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio is in great shape, dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. The score sounds robust and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.
Extras for this release include, an option to view the Twilight Time catalog, an eight-page booklet with an essay about the film written by Julie Kirgo, an option to listen to an Isolated music track and a trailer for the film (2 minutes 36 seconds).
Overall The Fortune Cookie gets a solid audio / video presentation from Twilight Time.
Note: This Blu-Ray release is a limited-edition release of 3,000 copies.