The Fortune Film Details
Overview: Two bumbling hustlers in the 1920s attempt to gain the fortune of an heiress. Nothing will stop them, not even murder.
Tagline: Sexier than the Marx Brothers, handsomer than Laurel and Hardy but not as smart as The 3 Stooges
Review: It seems ironic that three doomed projects that Mike Nichols directed starred Jack Nicholson (“The Fortune”, “Heartburn” and What Planet Are You From?”). Nicholson along with Meryl Streep was in “Heartburn” and Warren Beatty and in “The Fortune” which marked the debut of Stockard Channing of “Grease” fame. I have a problem of watching stupid people commit some of the dumbest things. It makes me cringe to see such talented performers like Beatty, Nicholson and Channing would lower their standards to playing these characters. Even awful films like “Ishtar” directed by Nichols and starring Beatty has more things going for over the abominable “The Fortune”. This movie takes its place in the annals of other 1970’s stinkers like “The Frisco Kid” that starred an odd pairing of Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford and was directed by Robert Aldrich (both were period pieces with “The Frisco Kid” set in 1850’s while “The Fortune” was set in the roaring 1920’s). Due to the restriction of the Mann Act, it was against the law that a man to transport a woman across state lines for purposes that were deem immoral, which was at the time having sex outside of wedlock. To avoid such penalization, the cautious Nicky (Warren Beatty), who’s struggling from divorcing his wife, manipulates his friend Oscar (Jack Nicholson) to marry Frederica (Stockard Channing), who’s about to become extremely wealthy. She was oblivious when her husband arrived at the wedding ceremony drunk orchestrated by Nicky. The three travel by berths from the East to Los Angeles and settle in a stucco house that is owned by a workaholic Mrs. Gould (Florence Stanley). Oscar wants to go over some nuptial agreements to this marriage and property matters (which also means intercourse to prevent this marriage from being null and void). Nicky is harried at his friend’s neediness and idiocy to the person he falsely claims he loves. Once Freddie knows that she’s being conned by the two men who are after her fortune, she starts becoming vocal about donating the fortune she’s about to receive. This means that the boys must do something drastic before she does such a task. The antics are awkward and lacks in anything logical even for a screwball comedy. There’s no wit or reasonable approach to their schemes to the point where you don’t really care for the characters. It’s a complex procedure as to find the right ingredient for a comedy to work, but it’s even more complex into unravel how a comedy can flop. I mean the script was written by Carole Eastman who in past wrote several films in which Nicholson starred in like “The Shooting” and “Five Easy Pieces”. You have a very capable director Mike Nichols who has been more successful in adaptations like “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Angels in America”. And we have top quality stars here like Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Stockard Channing who have had great success in the movie world. So where did we go wrong? I can play the blame game to just about anyone, but the culprits behind this abomination goes to writer Eastman and director Nichols. Eastman wrote pedestrian dialogue, awful characters, the plot devices are incoherent and she had the chance to edit out these abysmal devices and try to make it work. The horrible comical timing is partly Nichols to blame as well as the thespians. It’s not he was a stranger to them (he directed Nicholson in the 1971 classic “Carnal Knowledge”). Beatty does not have much humour implanted in him, but had his moments in “Bulworth” which he directed himself. Sure there may have been some people who found this film funny and you know what? That’s fine you are all entitled to your opinions. It’s no surprise that the Coen Brothers like it (especially Joel). To each their own I say. If you are curious to see this movie, well do not let me stop you. I just will not consider watching it again, ever.
Country: United States
Language: English, French
Duration: 88 min
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Romance
Also known as: The Fortune,Uma Fortuna por Água Abaixo,Mitgiftjäger,Dos pillos y la heredera,Averea,Состояние,Богатството,Ta’ livet a’ kællingen,O Golpe do Baú,Οι προικοθήρες,おかしなレディ・キラー,Tango för tre,Oi proikothires,Spite and Malice,Tango for tre,Kincs ez a nő,Fortuna,La bonne fortune,Due uomini e una dote,Akka jota ei saatu hengiltä,Dos pillos y una herencia