Victor Clooney (Jack Lemmon), a censor for CBS who worries about pornography creeping into the television shows he censors, is a nervous wreck.
His wife Celia (Paula Prentiss), a researcher with 60 Minutes, has fallen under the spell of the head honcho from the Institute for Sexual Fulfillment (Klaus Kinski), where she was recently sent to gather material for a network exposé.
Now, Celia is threatening to sue for divorce, and Victor is holed up in a hotel in Riverside, California, where he is determined to commit suicide.
The trouble is Victor keeps botching the job and disturbing the guy in the next room – a cynical chap named Trabucco (Walter Matthau), who also happens to be a hitman for the Mafia.
Trabucco is bent on committing the killing for which the mob will pay him so much money that he will finally be able to retire to the South Pacific island of his dreams.
With a high-powered rifle in his suitcase, he has moved into a hotel room with a terrific view of a courthouse across the street, on whose steps he plans to liquidate Rudy ‘Disco’ Gambola (Fil Formicola), who has turned government witness.
Hoping to get some peace to concentrate on his delicate mission, Trabucco offers to take Victor to see his wife and straighten out their marital differences. It’s a selfish gesture, which Victor interprets as a friendly one.
But Celia will not be budged, and the two men are soon back at the hotel with events as hectic as ever as the time draws close for Trabucco to do his dirty work.
Based on a French play by Francis Veber, Buddy Buddy is not one of Billy Wilder’s greatest efforts. It’s meant to be a madcap romp but plods along like an old man with creaky joints, and even the wonderful pairing of Matthau and Lemmon can’t lift it above the ordinary.
Dr Hugo Zuckerbrot
Eddie the Bellhop
Rudy ‘Disco’ Gambola
Ed Begley Jr.