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When the movie starts, we meet kindly old Joseph Kotchner (Walter Matthau) who loves to live his life revolving around his two or three year old grandson Duncan (played by alternately by Donald and Dean Kowalski). Kotchner means well; but he always seems to be getting on the fragile nerves of his daughter-in-law Wilma (Felicia Farr) and sometimes his son Gerald (Charles Aidman) agrees with Wilma that Kotchner is causing problems in the household. When Kotchner thinks nothing of patting a young child on the tushie to indicate that she should "get along" after he dries her off from the kiddie pool, the mothers overreact and cause quite a stink. It's clear that Kotchner just doesn't fit into his environment.
It's also not long before Wilma convinces Gerald to send Joseph to a supposedly fancy retirement "village;" but Joseph Kotchner will have none of that--especially when he must be tested for psychological problems! Joseph sneaks away and travels north by bus; and he enjoys a little adventure along his way. Meanwhile, the young babysitter Erica Herzenstiel (Deborah Winters), who started to care for Duncan when Wilma couldn't take Joseph any more, becomes pregnant and is banished from the Kotchner household by the ever so uptight Wilma.Read more ›
There are many comic scenes in this movie - Matthau plays the eccentric Joe Kotcher admirably well, earning himself an Oscar nomination for his effort. Deborah Winters shines as the confused and lonely pregnant teen who finds an unlikely ally in Joe. Both are sort of social outcasts who form a genuine rapport with each other.
The funny scenes are balanced with moments of true poignancy, especially when Joe reminisces about his deceased wife and their lives together. This is a heartwarming story that is not merely about an old man but about finding hope and purpose in life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Walter Mattau was great as always. I love his dry sense of humor. This is a good family movie, but I would say probably PG rating due to the birth scene. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Carol W.
"Kotch" is at turns a funny, wry, and poignant look at growing old in America. Walter Matthau's towering performance as Joseph Kotcher, a well-meaning but at turns frustrating... Read morePublished 18 months ago by David E. Baldwin
Haven't seen in years. Enjoyable movie, superb job by Matthau. Bought it at bargain on amazon. If you are expecting an action flick, this isn't it, just a feel good movie.Published on May 23, 2014 by Average guy
This movie has always been one of my favorites. There is a moral to this story that tells how the elderly become invisible and annoying to the younger generation when in truth the... Read morePublished on October 29, 2013 by Stll Ticking
Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon had a great working relationship for years. This film is the only one that Lemmon ever directed, but it stars Matthau as a lovable old grandpa who... Read morePublished on July 29, 2013 by David H. Birley
Beautiful performance with Matthou acting and Lemmon directing. Trying to collect all of their movies. Wish they were still around !Published on May 31, 2013 by Liz Anderson
This is probably the only Matthau movie I like. Considering how old the movie is, the depiction of seniors, as well as young unwed mothers, is quite contemporary and sensitive. Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by Pat