Want to know the best Walter Matthau movies? How about the worst Walter Matthau movies? Curious about Walter Matthau box office grosses or which Walter Matthau movie picked up the most Oscar nominations? Need to know which Walter Matthau 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.
Over 4 years ago we published a Jack Lemmon movie page. At that time we got numerous requests to do a Walter Matthau (1920-2000) movie page. Not sure why it took so long for us to get around to this page…but we finally have a Matthau page. Joel Hirschhorn’s Rating The Movie Stars book best describes Matthau. “Matthau looks less-like a box-office star than any other actor in movies, but people identified with Matthau; they like him. This he’s-one-of-us charm, plus his enormous talent for comedy and drama, have contributed to his huge success.”
His IMDb page shows 104 acting credits from 1950-2000. This page will rank 58 Walter Matthau movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television appearances and movies not released in North America were not included in the rankings.
Walter Matthau 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 Walter Matthau movies by co-stars of his movies.
- Sort Walter Matthau movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
- Sort Walter Matthau movies by yearly domestic box office rank
- Sort Walter Matthau 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 many Oscar® wins each Walter Matthau movie received and
- Sort Walter Matthau 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.
- Use the search and sort button to make this page very interactive. For example type “Lemmon” in the search box and up pop the 11 movies that Jack Lemmon and Matthau made together.
|R||Movie (Year)||UMR Co-Star Links||Adj. B.O. Worldwide (mil)||Review||Oscar Nom / Win||UMR Score|
|R||Movie (Year)||UMR Co-Star Links||Actual B.O. Domestic (mil)||Adj. B.O. Domestic (mil)||Adj. B.O. Worldwide (mil)||B.O. Rank by Year||Review||Oscar Nom / Win||UMR Score||S|
AA Best Picture Nom
|Kevin Costner &
|70.40||144.7||422.00||16||82||08 / 02||97.6|
|5||Hello Dolly! (1969)
AA Best Picture Nom
|Barbra Streisand &
Directed by Gene Kelly
|43.40||264.5||264.50||4||61||07 / 03||97.4|
|1||The Odd Couple (1968)||Jack Lemmon &
|44.50||294.0||294.00||7||81||02 / 00||96.9|
|2||Charade (1963)||Cary Grant &
|18.70||188.6||188.60||9||88||01 / 00||96.7|
|3||Cactus Flower (1969)||Ingrid Bergman &
|33.90||206.2||206.20||8||78||01 / 01||96.5|
|7||The Bad News Bears (1976)||Jackie Earle Haley &
|32.20||130.8||130.80||17||84||00 / 00||88.8|
|7||The Sunshine Boys (1975)
AA Best Actor Nom
|George Burns &
|21.80||92.1||92.10||28||76||04 / 01||84.1|
|8||Grumpy Old Men (1993)||Jack Lemmon &
|70.20||146.6||146.60||15||66||00 / 00||83.2|
|9||Pete 'n' Tillie (1972)||Carol Burnett &
|24.50||124.9||124.90||11||67||02 / 00||83.1|
|11||California Suite (1978)||Michael Caine &
|42.90||158.6||158.60||13||56||03 / 01||82.0|
Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Walter Matthau Table
- Eighteen Walter Matthau movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark. That is a percentage of 31.03% of his movies listed. The Odd Couple (1968) was his biggest box office ht when looking at adjusted domestic box office gross.
- An average Walter Matthau movie grosses $71.10 million in adjusted box office gross.
- Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter. 37 of Walter Matthau’ movies are rated as good movies…or 93.33% of their movies. Fail-Safe (1964) is his highest rated movie while Hanging Up (2000) was his lowest rated movie.
- Eleven Walter Matthau movie received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 29.31% of his movies.
- Six Walter Matthau movie won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 10.34% of his movies.
- An average Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score is 40.00. 31 Walter Matthau movies scored higher than that average….or 53.44% of his movies. The Odd Couple (1968) got the the highest UMR Score while Movers and Shakers (1985) got the lowest UMR Score.
Possibly Interesting Facts About Walter Matthau
1. Walter John Matthow was born in New York City’s Lower East Side in 1920.
2. During World War II, Walter Matthau served in the U.S. Army Air Forces with the Eighth Air Force in England as a B-24 Liberator radioman-gunner, in the same 453rd Bombardment Group as James Stewart.
3. Walter Matthau’s first movie role was in 1955’s The Kentuckian. The Kentuckian was the only movie Burt Lancaster ever directed. Matthau also starred in the only movie Jack Lemmon ever directed…1971’s Kotch. Matthau directed one movie too……but neither Lancaster or Lemmon appeared in 1959’s Gangster Story….that does not seem fair.
4. Walter Matthau screen-tested for the lead role in 1955’s The Seven Year Itch. After seeing his test, director Billy Wilder believed he had found his leading man. Unfortunately, executives at 20th Century Fox were unwilling to take a risk on an unknown newcomer. Ten years later Wilder would direct Matthau in his Oscar® winning role in 1966’s The Fortune Cookie. Wilder would direct Matthau two more times….1974’s The Front Page and 1981’s Buddy Buddy.
5. Walter Matthau was nominated for 3 acting Oscars®. He won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar® for 1966’s The Fortune Cookie. He was nominated for Best Actor Oscars® for 1971’s Kotch and 1975’s The Sunshine Boys.
6. Walter Matthau was nominated for 8 Golden Globes®. He won Best Actor for 1975’s The Sunshine Boys. Other nominations: The Fortune Cookie (1965), The Odd Couple (1968) , Kotch (1971), Pete ‘n’ Tillie (1972), The Front Page (1974), Hopscotch (1980) and First Monday in October (1981).
7. Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon acted together in 9 movies: Buddy Buddy (1981), The Fortune Cookie (1966), The Front Page (1974), The Grass Harp (1995), Grumpier Old Men (1995), Grumpy Old Men (1993), The Odd Couple II (1998), The Odd Couple (1968) and Out to Sea (1997). The only movie Jack Lemmon directed was 1971’s Kotch….which starred Matthau. Lemmon and Matthau also both appeared in JFK (1991), but had no scenes together.
8. Walter Matthau was married twice; first to Grace Geraldine Johnson from 1948 to 1958..they had two children, Jenny and David. His second marriage was to Carol Marcus from 1959 until his death in 2000…they had one son, Charlie. Charlie Matthau is an actor and a director. He directed his father in The Grass Harp (1995).
9. Walter Matthau’s lasting impact on pop culture. In the Oscar® winning Pixar movie Up, Carl the main character is a combination of Spencer Tracy and Walter Matthau. Dan Castellaneta has said that his original voice for Homer Simpson was simply an impression of Matthau.
10. In the blockbuster box office hit Earthquake (1974) , Matthau did a cameo as a drunk. He used the name Walter Matuschanskayasky in the credits.
Check out Walter Matthau’s movie career compared to current and classic stars on our Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time page.
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