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Kotch (1971)

Rascally and cheerfully optimistic retired salesman Joseph “Kotch” Kotcher (Walter Matthau) leaves the family home of his son Gerald (Charles Aidman), daughter-in-law Wilma (Felicia Farr, Lemmon’s real-life wife), and their baby son Duncan, to avoid being relegated to a nursing home.

The 72-year-old forms an unlikely friendship with his family’s pregnant teenage babysitter, Erica (Deborah Winters), even helping her to deliver her baby in an empty gas station and setting up a home with her in a small concrete-block bungalow in Santa Barbara.

The film – full of warmth and emotion – was the directorial debut for Jack Lemmon. He felt uncomfortable behind the camera and didn’t enjoy the experience at all. Lemmon never directed again.

Matthau was 21-years younger than Kotch when he made the film and he gives an impressive impersonation of a spry and feisty old-timer. He received a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his portrayal.

Joseph P. Kotcher
Walter Matthau
Erica Herzenstiel
Deborah Winters
Wilma Kotcher
Felicia Farr
Gerald Kotcher
Charles Aidman
Vera Kotcher
Ellen Geer
Duncan Kotcher
Donald Kowalski
Dean Kowalski
Mrs Fisher
Arlen Stuart
Miss Roberts
Jane Connell
Mr Weaver
James Brodhead
Dr McKernan
Jessica Rains
Vincent Perrin
Darrell Larson
Dr Caudillo
Paul Picerni
Sissy
Lucy Saroyan

Director
Jack Lemmon