The Odd Couple is a 1968 comedy film written by Neil Simon, based on his play of the same name, directed by Gene Saks, and starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. It is the story of two divorced men Felix Ungar, the neurotic neatfreak, and Oscar Madison, the fun-loving slob who decide to live together, even though their personalities clash. Simon based the story on the observations of Mel Brooks living with a friend after his first divorce.
Felix Ungar (Jack Lemmon) checks into a fleabag hotel room and attempts to kill himself by jumping out the window, but he can't get the window open and ends up pulling a muscle in his back. Limping back on the street he tries to get drunk and ends up hurting his neck when he throws down a shot. Finally, he stands on a bridge, contemplating jumping into the river. Meanwhile, in the pig-sty Upper West Side Manhattan apartment of divorced sportswriter Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) on a hot and sticky evening, Oscar and his buddies Speed (Larry Haines), Roy (David Sheiner), Vinnie (John Fiedler), and Murray the cop (Herb Edelman) are playing poker and discussing their friend, Felix Ungar, who is unusually late to the game. Murray's wife calls and tells him that Felix and his wife Frances have split up. As they are discussing what to do, and worried that Felix might try to commit suicide, Felix arrives not knowing that his friends already know that his wife has kicked him out of the house. Felix eventually breaks down crying and his friends try to console him. Oscar then suggests that Felix move in with him, since Oscar has lived alone since he split up with his own wife, Blanche, several months earlier. Felix agrees, and urges Oscar to not be shy about letting him know if he gets on Oscar's nerves. Within a week, Oscar is going nuts. Felix is a neurotic, obsessive-compulsive nut, who runs around the apartment cleaning, picking up after Oscar, and berating him for being such a slob. He also refuses to have any fun, spending most of his time thinking about Frances. Felix at one point telephones Oscar at Shea Stadium to ask what he would like cooked for dinner; this distraction causes Oscar to miss seeing a rare triple-play at the Mets game on which he is reporting. The two men are shown bowling, shooting pool, and walking the city streets. Felix has a sinus attack, making loud obnoxious noises while seated in a coffee shop. Finally, after Felix drives everyone at the weekly poker game crazy, Oscar convinces Felix to lighten up and join him on a double-date with two English girls who live in the building the Pigeon sisters, Cecily (Monica Evans) and Gwendolyn (Carole Shelley), who actually "coo" when they laugh. As the date commences, Oscar tries to get Felix to loosen up by leaving him alone for a while in their living room with the two attractive, and somewhat frisky, sisters. Instead, he winds up talking about Frances, and breaks down weeping. When Oscar returns from their kitchen, the Pigeon sisters, one a divorcee, the other widowed, are sobbing as uncontrollably as Felix. Oscar cheers them up and they invite the boys upstairs for what should be a wild night. Instead, Felix, who realizes that he is still too attached to his wife, refuses to go, opting to wash his hair instead. Oscar joins the sisters in their apartment, but winds up spending the night telling them all about Felix. Furious about Felix's ruining the date, Oscar resorts to giving Felix the silent treatment and torturing him by messing up the apartment as much as possible. Felix retaliates by just being himself, driving Oscar insane with his endless cleaning and neurotic behavior. Eventually, the tension explodes into an argument that results in Oscar demanding that Felix move out. Felix complies, but leaves Oscar with a major-league guilt trip for having abandoned his still-in-need friend. Feeling awful about throwing Felix out, and not knowing where he has gone, Oscar assembles his poker buddies to search New York City for Felix in Murray's police car. After searching for hours, they return to Oscar's apartment to find out that Felix has moved in with the Pigeon sisters. Oscar and Felix apologize to each other, and realize that a bit of each has rubbed off on the other, with each being a better person for it.