Even after accidentally destroying their car, Oscar and Felix forge on, hitching rides from fruit trucks and perhaps the world's oldest and slowest Rolls Royce. Former straphangers on the New York transit system, Felix and Oscar are nothing if not fish out of water. True to their personality types, the obsessive Felix remains steadfastly focused on the goal while the nonchalant Oscar improvises his way from calamity to catastrophe.
One of their misadventures involves a dalliance with two women that Oscar picks up in a restaurant, the lovely Thelma and Holly, described by the trepidacious Felix as "a couple of middle-aged bikers." Played by Christine Baranski and Jean Smart, these gals are the antithesis of the chirpy, sentimental Pigeon sisters of the original play.
Semi-retired in Sarasota, Oscar is still playing poker every week, but this time it's with a gaggle of gals in their seventies who show up for the fun of it and perhaps the prospect of winning some separate time with the elusively single Mr. Madison. Poker players they are not. "Last week I won a pair of earrings," Oscar tells his son Brucey.
Felix stayed in New York, fills his days doing part-time charity work in a hospital. He's there to read books, help patients write letters, plays with kids and in general goes around trying to cheer everybody up. Knowing Felix, Jack Lemmon figures he's probably got a broom in one hand and a dust pan in the other.
For "The Odd Couple," in l965 Neil Simon received his first Tony award for Best Dramatic Author. Directed by Mike Nichols, the play starring Walter Matthau and Art Carney ran over two years, 966 performances in all on Broadway. Tony awards were also bestowed on Matthau for Best Actor, Nichols for Best Director and Oliver Smith for Best Scenic Design.
In 1968, the motion picture teamed Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau under the direction of Gene Saks. A resounding hit for Paramount Pictures, the film still holds a box office record of 14 consecutive weeks at Radio City Music Hall. Neil Simon was nominated for an Academy Award(tm) for Best Screenplay from another medium.
The ABC television series based on the characters Neil Simon created ran for five years, starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall.blog comments powered by Disqus
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