929 voters

The Best Walter Matthau Movies

Updated September 23, 2019 3.1k votes 929 voters 71.7k views64 items

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List of the best Walter Matthau movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Walter Matthau has starred in countless films, but one of his best roles has to be that of Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple. Walter Matthau's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Walter Matthau movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Walter Matthau movies will be at the top of the list. Walter Matthau has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Walter Matthau movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Walter Matthau films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Walter Matthau role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Walter Matthau performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

The list you're viewing is made up of many different films, like Grumpy Old Men and Bad News Bears.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Walter Matthau movies?" and "What are the greatest Walter Matthau roles of all time?" If you are a fan of Matthau's buddy comedies, you might also enjoy our list of best Jack Lemmon movies and best Burgess Meredith movies.


  • 1

    The Odd Couple

    Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau


    Directed byGene Saks

    The Odd Couple is a 1968 American black comedy film written by Neil Simon, based on his play The Odd Couple, directed by Gene Saks, and starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. It is the story of two...  more

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  • 2

    Grumpy Old Men

    Ann-Margret, Daryl Hannah


    Directed byDonald Petrie

    Grumpy Old Men is a 1993 American romantic comedy film starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret, with Burgess Meredith, Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, Ossie Davis and Buck Henry. Directed by...  more

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  • 3

    The Bad News Bears

    Tatum O'Neal, Jackie Earle Haley


    Directed byMichael Ritchie

    The Bad News Bears is a 1976 comedy film directed by Michael Ritchie. It stars Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal. The film was followed by two sequels, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training in 1977...  more

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  • 4

    The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    Jerry Stiller, Walter Matthau


    Directed byJoseph Sargent

    The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a 1974 American thriller film directed by Joseph Sargent, produced by Edgar J. Scherick, and starring Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam and Héctor...  more

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  • 5

    Charley Varrick

    Walter Matthau, Norman Fell


    Directed byDon Siegel

    Charley Varrick is a 1973 crime film directed by Don Siegel and starring Walter Matthau, Andrew Robinson, Joe Don Baker and John Vernon. The film was based on the novel The Looters by John H. Reese....  more
  • 6

    Grumpier Old Men

    Sophia Loren, Ann-Margret


    Directed byHoward Deutch

    Grumpier Old Men is a 1995 romantic comedy film, and a sequel to the 1993 film Grumpy Old Men. The film stars Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret, and Sophia Loren, with Burgess Meredith, Daryl...  more

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  • 7

    A New Leaf

    Walter Matthau, Doris Roberts


    Directed byElaine May

    A New Leaf is a dark comedy film based on the short story The Green Heart by Jack Ritchie, starring Elaine May, Walter Matthau, George Rose and James Coco. Better known for her collaboration as a...  more
  • 8


    Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant


    Directed byStanley Donen

    Charade is a 1963 Technicolor American romantic comedy/mystery film directed by Stanley Donen, written by Peter Stone and Marc Behm, and starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. The cast also features...  more

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  • 9

    The Fortune Cookie

    Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau


    Directed byBilly Wilder

    The Fortune Cookie is a 1966 film starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in their first on-screen collaboration, and directed by Billy Wilder from a script by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond....  more
  • 10

    The Sunshine Boys

    George Burns, Phyllis Diller


    Directed byHerbert Ross

    The Sunshine Boys is a 1975 American comedy film directed by Herbert Ross and produced by Ray Stark, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and based on the play of the same name by Neil Simon, about two...  more
  • 11


    Walter Matthau, Sam Waterston


    Directed byRonald Neame

    Hopscotch is a 1980 American film directed by Ronald Neame and produced by Edie Landau and Ely A. Landau. It was written by Bryan Forbes and Brian Garfield, based on Garfield's novel of the same...  more
  • 12

    Dennis the Menace

    Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson


    Directed byNick Castle

    Dennis the Menace is a 1993 live-action American family film based on the Hank Ketcham comic strip of the same name. This, however, is not the first live-action Dennis the Menace film: The first...  more

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  • 13

    The Front Page

    Susan Sarandon, Carol Burnett


    Directed byBilly Wilder

    The Front Page is a 1974 American comedy-drama film directed by Billy Wilder and starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The screenplay by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is based on Ben Hecht and Charles...  more

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  • 14

    House Calls

    Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson


    Directed byHoward Zieff

    House Calls is a 1978 film comedy starring Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson, directed by Howard Zieff....  more
  • 15

    Plaza Suite

    Walter Matthau, Lee Grant


    Directed byArthur Hiller

    Plaza Suite is a 1971 American comedy film directed by Arthur Hiller. The screenplay by Neil Simon is based on his 1968 play of the same title. The film stars Walter Matthau, Maureen Stapleton,...  more
  • 16

    Fail Safe

    Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau


    Directed bySidney Lumet

    Fail-Safe is a 1964 Cold thriller film directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The film features performances by veteran actors Henry...  more

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  • 17

    The Odd Couple II

    Jack Lemmon, Christine Baranski


    Directed byHoward Deutch

    The Odd Couple II is the 1998 sequel to 1968's The Odd Couple. Written by Neil Simon, the film reunites Jack Lemmon as Felix Unger and Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison in their last film together. The...  more

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  • 18


    Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman


    Directed byOliver Stone

    JFK is a 1991 American historical legal-conspiracy thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and subsequent cover-up...  more

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  • 19

    Out to Sea

    Jack Lemmon, Dyan Cannon


    Directed byMartha Coolidge

    Out to Sea is a 1997 romantic comedy film starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Rue McClanahan, Dyan Cannon and Brent Spiner. It was the final film for both Donald O'Connor and Edward Mulhare. The...  more
  • 20


    Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins


    Directed byFred Schepisi

    I.Q. is a 1994 American romantic comedy film directed by Fred Schepisi and starring Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, and Walter Matthau. The original music score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith. The film...  more

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  • 21

    Cactus Flower

    Goldie Hawn, Ingrid Bergman


    Directed byGene Saks

    Cactus Flower is a 1969 comedy film directed by Gene Saks and starring Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, and Goldie Hawn, who won an Oscar for her performance. The screenplay was adapted by I. A. L....  more

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  • 22

    Hello, Dolly!

    Barbra Streisand, Louis Armstrong


    Directed byGene Kelly

    Hello, Dolly! is a 1969 romantic comedy musical film based on the Broadway production of the same name. The film follows the story of Dolly Levi, as she travels to Yonkers, New York, to find a match...  more

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  • 23

    A Face in the Crowd

    Andy Griffith, Walter Matthau


    Directed byElia Kazan

    A Face in the Crowd is a 1957 film starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau, directed by Elia Kazan. The screenplay was written by Budd Schulberg, based on his short story "Your...  more
  • 24

    Lonely Are the Brave

    Kirk Douglas, George Kennedy


    Directed byDavid Miller

    Lonely Are the Brave is a 1962 film adaptation of the Edward Abbey novel The Brave Cowboy. The film was directed by David Miller from a screenplay by Dalton Trumbo. It stars Kirk Douglas as cowboy...  more
  • 25

    Pete 'n' Tillie

    Carol Burnett, Cloris Leachman


    Directed byMartin Ritt

    Pete 'n' Tillie is a 1972 American comedy-drama film starring Walter Matthau and Carol Burnett in the title roles. Its advertising tagline was "Honeymoon's over. It's time to get married." Martin...  more