Kotch is a 1971 American comedy-drama film directed by Jack Lemmon and starring Walter Matthau, Deborah Winters, Felicia Farr, Charles Aidman, and Ellen Geer.

Promotional poster
Directed byJack Lemmon
Screenplay byJohn Paxton
Based onKotch
1965 novel
by Katharine Topkins
Produced byRichard Carter
StarringWalter Matthau
Deborah Winters
Felicia Farr
Charles Aidman
Ellen Geer
CinematographyRichard H. Kline
Edited byRalph E. Winters
Music byMarvin Hamlisch
Distributed byCinerama Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • September 17, 1971 (1971-09-17)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.5 million[1]
Box office$5 million (rentals)[1]

Adapted by John Paxton from Katharine Topkins' 1965 novel of the same name, the film tells the story of an elderly man who leaves his family rather than going to a nursing home, and strikes up a friendship with a pregnant teenage girl. It was Lemmon's only film behind the camera and partnered him with friend and frequent co-star Matthau.

Portions of the film were shot and set in Palm Springs, California.



The film earned rentals of $3.6 million in North America and $1.4 million in other countries. It recorded an overall profit of $330,000.[1]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, and said “There aren't many comic actors I admire more than Matthau, and he does his best to be an old man in Kotch, but the illusion simply isn't there.”[2]

Plot SynopsisEdit

Awards and nominationsEdit

Award Category Nominee(s) Result
Academy Awards[3] Best Actor Walter Matthau Nominated
Best Film Editing Ralph E. Winters Nominated
Best Song – Original for the Picture "Life Is What You Make It"
Music by Marvin Hamlisch;
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Best Sound Richard Portman and Jack Solomon Nominated
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Feature Film Ralph E. Winters Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[4] Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Walter Matthau Nominated
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture John Paxton Nominated
Best Original Song – Motion Picture "Life Is What You Make It"
Music by Marvin Hamlisch;
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Kansas City Film Circle Critics Awards[5] Best Actor Walter Matthau Won[a]
Writers Guild of America Awards[6] Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium John Paxton Won

Home mediaEdit

Kotch was released in a Region 1 DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on July 6, 2004.

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b c "ABC's 5 Years of Film Production Profits & Losses", Variety, 31 May 1973, pg 3.
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Kotch movie review & film summary (1971) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com/. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  3. ^ "The 44th Academy Awards (1972) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  4. ^ "Kotch – Golden Globes". HFPA. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  5. ^ "KCFCC Award Winners – 1970-79". December 14, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  6. ^ "Awards Winners". wga.org. Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2010-06-06.

External linksEdit