Jack Lemmon Movies

Jack Lemmon in 1955's classic movie...Mister Roberts

Jack Lemmon in 1955’s classic movie…Mister Roberts

Want to know the best Jack Lemmon movies?  How about the worst Jack Lemmon movies?  Curious about Jack Lemmon’s box office grosses or which Jack Lemmon movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Jack Lemmon movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

John Uhler “Jack” Lemmon III (February 8, 1925 – June 27, 2001) was a two Academy Award® winning actor. Lemmon’s film debut was a uncredited bit part in the 1949 film The Lady Takes a Sailor but he was not noticed until his official debut in 1954’s It Should Happen To You.

Over the next 45 years, Lemmon would appear in numerous classic movies. Movies like Mister Roberts, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Day of Wine and Roses, The Great Race and The China Syndrome. Jack Lemmon received 8 Oscar® nominations for acting in his career.

He won twice, once as Best Supporting Actor in 1955’s Mister Roberts and once as Best Actor for 1973’s Save The Tiger. Lemmon also received an incredible 16 Golden Globe® nominations for his movie roles. So basically for every three movies Lemmon made, he would receive one nomination…..not a bad ratio.

His IMDb page shows 96 acting credits from 1949-2000. This page will rank 53 Jack Lemmon movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, cameos and bit parts were not included in the rankings.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon 1959's Some Like It Hot.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon 1959’s Some Like It Hot.

Jack Lemmon Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Jack Lemmon movies by co-stars of his movies
  • Sort Jack Lemmon movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Jack Lemmon movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort Jack Lemmon movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Jack Lemmon movie received.
  • Sort Jack Lemmon movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • *** = Jack Lemmon received an Oscar® nomination for the movie
RankMovie (Year)UMR Co-Star LinksAdjusted B.O. Domestic (mil)Box Office Rank by YearCritic Audience RatingOscar Nom / WinUMR Score
Apartment, The (1960) ***Shirley MacLaine & Fred MacMurray$232.106th of 196087.50%10 / 0588.62
Some Like It Hot (1959) ***Tony Curtis & Marilyn Monroe$326.303rd of 195991.67%06 / 0185.33
Mister Roberts (1955) ***Henry Fonda & James Cagney$393.702nd of 195588.00%03 / 0183.91
Odd Couple, The (1968)Walter Matthau & John Fiedler$286.505th of 196885.00%02 / 0073.62
Irma La Douce (1963)Shirley MacLaine & James Caan$247.005th of 196379.00%03 / 0171.80
China Syndrome, The (1979) ***Jane Fonda & Michael Douglas$173.7012th of 197977.50%04 / 0071.31
Days of Wine and Roses (1962) ***Lee Remick$137.8017th of 196287.00%05 / 0171.22
Great Race, The (1965)Tony Curts & Natalie Wood$254.606th of 196574.00%05 / 0170.25
JFK (1991)Kevin Costner & Tommy Lee Jones$141.0017th of 199182.00%08 / 0267.68
Missing (1982) ***Sissy Spacek$40.1056th of 198287.00%04 / 0157.94
Grumpy Old Men (1993)Walter Matthau & Ann-Margret$142.9015th of 199368.00%00 / 0054.11
Save the Tiger (1973) ***Jack Gilford$33.9059th of 197380.00%03 / 0154.02
Under The Yum Yum Tree (1963)Carol Lynley & Dean Jones$138.6019th of 196361.00%00 / 0052.02
Good Neighbor Sam (1964)Edward G. Robinson$126.8021st of 196467.00%00 / 0051.14
Front Page, The (1974)Walter Matthau & Susan Sarandon$107.4026th of 197569.00%00 / 0050.95
How To Murder Your Wife (1965)Terry-Thomas$125.1011th of 196566.00%00 / 0050.41
Out-of-Towners, The (1970)Sandy Dennis$119.2013th of 197062.00%00 / 0048.87
Bell Book and Candle (1958)James Stewart & Kim Novak$99.4035th of 195968.00%02 / 0048.79
It Should Happen To You (1954)Judy Holliday & Directed by George Cukor$73.3096th of 195478.00%01 / 0048.42
Fortune Cookie, The (1966)Walter Matthau & Directed by Billy Wilder$32.2079th of 196685.00%04 / 0147.14
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)Al Pacino & Ed Harris$21.8094th of 199288.50%00 / 0044.99
Wackiest Ship In The Army, The (1960)Ricky Nelson$125.7025th of 196154.00%00 / 0044.86
Notorious Landlady, The (1962)Fred Astaire$84.3033rd of 196266.50%00 / 0044.33
April Fools, The (1969)Catherine Deneuve$84.8019th of 196965.50%00 / 0043.92
Airport '77 (1977)James Stewart & Olivia de Havilland$154.1017th of 197742.00%00 / 0043.63
My Sister Eileen (1955)Janet Leigh$83.4069th of 195565.00%00 / 0043.48
Phfft (1954)Judy Holliday$81.2080th of 195464.00%00 / 0042.67
Kotch (1971) Director OnlyWalter Matthau$55.7029th of 197167.50%04 / 0042.57
Short Cuts (1993)Robert Downey Jr. & Julianne Mooe$12.40134th of 199385.50%01 / 0042.46
Operation Mad Ball (1957)Mickey Rooney & Ernie Kovacs$79.6050th of 195764.00%00 / 0042.42
Hamlet (1996)Robin Williams & Charlton Heston$9.00165th of 199683.50%04 / 0042.24
Three For The Show (1955)Betty Grable$57.9097th of 195568.00%00 / 0040.93
Grumpier Old Men (1995)Walter Matthau & Sophia Loren$138.6022nd of 199541.00%00 / 0040.31
Avanti (1973)Juliet Mills$21.6082nd of 197377.00%00 / 0039.54
Tribute (1980) ***Robby Benson$29.2065th of 198063.00%01 / 0039.04
It Happened To Jane (1959)Doris Day$68.2053rd of `95960.00%00 / 0038.77
Cowboy (1958)Glenn Ford$50.0053rd of 195860.00%01 / 0036.35
Dad (1989)Ted Danson & Ethan Hawke$46.9048th of 198958.00%01 / 0036.18
You Can't Run Away From It (1956)June Allyson$65.7072nd of 195654.00%00 / 0035.56
Prisoner of Second Avenue, The (1975)Anne Bancroft$29.9044th of 197564.00%00 / 0034.71
Buddy Buddy (1981)Walter Matthau & Directed by Billy Wilder$22.0075th of 198163.00%00 / 0033.02
My Fellow Americans (1996)James Garner & Dan Aykroyd$42.6073rd of 199656.00%00 / 0032.92
Mass Appeal (1984)Charles Durning$4.90141st of 198466.00%00 / 0031.78
Fire Down Below (1957)Robert Mitchum & Rita Hayworth$88.2047th of 195738.00%00 / 0031.53
War Between Men And Women (1972)Barbara Harris & Jason Robards$60.1031st of 197247.00%00 / 0031.41
Out to Sea (1997)Walter Matthau$53.3073rd of 199746.00%00 / 0029.88
Alex & Gypsy (1976)James Woods$13.2094th of 197656.00%00 / 0028.37
That's Life (1986)Julie Andrews$9.30118th of 198653.00%01 / 0028.00
Macaroni (1985)Marcello Mastroianni$2.10152nd of 198557.00%00 / 0027.12
Grass Harp, The (1996)Walter Matthau & Sissy Spacek$1.10225th of 199657.00%00 / 0026.96
Luv (1967)Peter Falk$16.0088th of 196752.00%00 / 0026.92
Odd Couple II, The (1998)Walter Matthau$34.0088th of 199842.00%00 / 0025.01
Getting Away with Murder (1996)Dan Aykroyd$0.40256th of 199622.00%00 / 0010.40

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Jack Lemmon Table

  1. Eighteen Jack Lemmon movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 33.96% of his movies listed.  Mister Roberts (1955) was his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Jack Lemmon movie grosses $92.05 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  37 Jack Lemmon movies are rated as good movies…or 69.81% of his movies.  Some Like It Hot (1959) is his highest rated movie while Getting Away with Murder (1996) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Twenty-one Jack Lemmon movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 39.62% of his movies.
  5. Ten Jack Lemmon movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 18.86% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00.  34 Jack Lemmon movies scored higher that average….or 64.15% of his movies.  The Apartment (1959) got the the highest UMR Score while Getting Away With Murder (1996) got the lowest UMR Score.
Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in 1993's Grumpy Old Men

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in 1993’s Grumpy Old Men

Possibly Interesting Facts About Jack Lemmon.

1. Jack Lemmon was born in an elevator.

2. His father was the president of a doughnut company.

2. Jack Lemmon graduated from Harvard University in 1947.

3. Lemmon taught himself to play the piano. He appears in numerous movies playing the piano.

4. Lemmon appeared in 7 movies directed by Billy Wilder. From 1959’s Some Like It Hot to 1991’s Buddy Buddy.

5. Lemmon made 12 movies with Walter Matthau. From 1965’s The Fortune Cookie to 1998’s The Odd Couple II. To see all 12 movies….just type in Walter in the search box…and they will all pop up.

6. Other roles Lemmon turned down over the years: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe? , All That Jazz, Never So Few, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Hustler.

7. Lemmon was married twice. His son Chris Lemmon, was his first child by his first wife, actress Cynthia Stone. His second wife was the actress Felicia Farr, with whom he had a daughter, Courtney and a step daughter Denise.

8. Lemmon directed one film in his lifetime…1971’s Kotch. Kotch starred his friend Walter Matthau, and earned Matthau an Oscar® nomination for Best Actor.

9. Lemmon passed away about one year after Matthua passed away. His gravestone simply reads “JACK LEMMON in”

10. Check out Jack Lemmon‘s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.  Golden Globes® are the registered trademark and service mark of the Hollywood Foreign Press. 

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57 thoughts on “Jack Lemmon Movies

  1. I have just been updating my Jack Lemmon section of my database and notice that entry 22 in the table above is called The Wackiest Ship in the Navy. Strange as it may seem the actual title is The Wackiest Ship in the ARMY

    1. Hey Bob….thanks for the catch….I have fixed my error on the above table and in my database….that error has been sitting out there for a very long time…since the summer of 2011. Once again…thanks for the headsup. 🙂

  2. 1 I never read who Jack’s FAVOURITE actor was but he claimed that when Marlon Brando was on song no other actor could touch him. However Margaret Hinxman. who was Britain’s top film critic in the 1950s and who also admired Brando claimed that Lemmon was actually better than Marlon.

    2 Certainly whilst a preference for any of the Great actors comes down to personal taste Jack was very successful in both the dramatic AND comic genres whereas Marlon’ experience with the latter wasn’t always a happy one as A Countess from Hong Kong illustrates. Indeed like Kelsey Grammer in Frasier Jack was often able to blend both genres seamlessly as we have seen in the likes of the Apartment and the TV movie Tuesdays with Morrie A must for any self respecting movie buff is of course Mr Roberts which teamed Jack with Cagney, Fonda and Bill Powell. It’s difficult to think of any ensemble in today’s cinema that would that would be as high-powered as that one in its day. Jack is currently listed 13th in IMDB 100 Greatest Actors of All Time

    3 Bruce’s diligence in constantly reviewing his box office figures and practices combined with his willingness to say mea culpa and change direction has certainly paid dividends for Jack giving him on update a total gross of almost $5 billion which in my opinion is excellent when one considers that often Jack’s successes were in roles some of which not many other actors of Jack’s time would have tackled and/or which were in modest films like Glengarry Glen Ross Missing and Save the Tiger that were so thoughtful that they were never going to be box office blockbusters. Good on you Bruce.

    1. Hey Bob
      1. Thanks for the thoughts on Mr. Lemmon.
      2. I think I read that he thought Brando was the most overrated actor ever…..lol. I am of course joking….as I assume Lemmon like almost everybody else admited Mr. Brando.
      3. I agree Lemmon was good in all genres…..though I do not think he made many action movies….though I guess you can give him credit for Cowboy.
      4. 13th seems to be a good number…..he did not qualify for the AFI list…..but he did make our UMR 1950-2010 list.
      5. Yep Jack got close to 5 billion with this update……which puts him in a decent though not great spot would looking at everybody’s career stats.
      Thanks for the comment and the visit.

          1. 1 He forged two great partnerships – a prolonged one with Walter and a brief but never to be forgotten two-picture one with Shirley. Gable managed three – two extensive ones with Crawford and Loy and a 3 picture one with Old Cantankerous cut short by the billing issue.

            2 I can’t recall you ever doing a specific survey of the great partnerships of the classic era and if you haven’t it’s something you might put on the back burner for when you’re looking for something fresh to cover. Screen pairings are a subject that I think would maybe interest a lot of readers. Fred MacMurray is another artist who would be fertile ground for you in that respect.

          2. Hey Bob. I agree he and MacLaine made two great movies. As for your suggestion ….I have a page on the top duo box office stars….I think I listed all the screen teams with one billion in adjusted gross made the page…. but it is due for an update.

  3. Jack Lemmon was a very talented actor. He is my favorite of all actors. He had a great personality as well. I’m just finding out about all his other movies. Looks like I’ll have to make a lot of popcorn.

    1. Hey Sandy…I agree with your comment 100%…..he was very talented. I am glad my page will help you discover more of his movies. You will have to make lots of popcorn.

  4. He was one of my favorites! I love him and Walter M. together. Some Like It Hot was a wonderful movie; just the kind I enjoy.

    You do such a good job on these Hubs; they must take you forever to research!

    I voted this one UP, shared. Pinned and Tweeted

    1. Hey Mary….Lemmon and Matthau made a great screen team….that makes me think I should do a movie page on Walter Matthau in the near future. Some Like It Hot is a classic that gets better every year. I appreciate the comment, the votes, the share, the pin and the tweet…..you are awesome.

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