Kotch. 1971. USA. Directed by Jack Lemmon. Screenplay by John Paxton, based on the novel by Katharine Topkins. With Walter Matthau, Deborah Winters, Felicia Farr. 35mm. 113 min.
Joseph “Kotch” Kotcher (Walter Matthau) is a retired salesman living with his son Gerald and daughter-in-law Wilma in suburban Los Angeles. When the cheerful Kotch gets on high-strung Wilma’s nerves, she convinces Gerald to send his dad to a retirement home. Kotch relents, but his departure to the retirement village turns into an unplanned solo vacation up and down the California coast, where he has meaningful encounters and ultimately lends his understanding and support to a young pregnant woman in need of a helping hand. Jack Lemmon’s only directorial credit was nominated for numerous Academy Awards, including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Matthau.