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The Best Walter Matthau Movies 

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Updated September 23, 2019 3.7k votes 893 voters 70.3k views 64 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.

Walter Matthau was no stranger to working with popular directors, including Roman Polanski, Billy Wilder and Sidney Lumet. Walter Matthau was in some really popular films, and is right up there with stars like Jack Lemmon and Jason Robards Jr. in terms of fame and success.

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1
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Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Herb Edelman

Released: 1968

Directed by: Gene 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 ...more

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#99 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #374 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

2
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Ann-Margret, Daryl Hannah, Jack Lemmon

Released: 1993

Directed by: Donald 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. ...more

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#471 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #69 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #78 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

3
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Walter Matthau, Sam Waterston, Ned Beatty

Released: 1980

Directed by: Ronald 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

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#294 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #93 of 102 The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel

4
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Walter Matthau, Norman Fell, Don Siegel

Released: 1973

Directed by: Don 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.
5
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Tatum O'Neal, Jackie Earle Haley, Walter Matthau

Released: 1976

Directed by: Michael 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 ...more

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#153 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #75 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

6
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Jerry Stiller, Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw

Released: 1974

Directed by: Joseph 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 ...more

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#84 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #541 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

7
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Sophia Loren, Ann-Margret, Daryl Hannah

Released: 1995

Directed by: Howard 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, ...more

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#155 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #120 of 181 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

8
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George Burns, Phyllis Diller, Walter Matthau

Released: 1975

Directed by: Herbert 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 ...more

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#301 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #423 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

9
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Walter Matthau, Doris Roberts, Elaine May

Released: 1971

Directed by: Elaine 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 ...more
10
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Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Lurene Tuttle

Released: 1966

Directed by: Billy 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.
11
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Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Coburn

Released: 1963

Directed by: Stanley 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 ...more

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#696 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #633 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
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Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Natasha Lyonne

Released: 1993

Directed by: Nick 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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#333 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #106 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #1 of 12 Classic '90s Kids Movies You Forgot Are Actually Super Messed Up

13
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Susan Sarandon, Carol Burnett, Jack Lemmon

Released: 1974

Directed by: Billy 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 ...more

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#556 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #576 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #348 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

14
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Walter Matthau, Lee Grant, Maureen Stapleton

Released: 1971

Directed by: Arthur 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
15
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Jack Lemmon, Christine Baranski, Amy Yasbeck

Released: 1998

Directed by: Howard 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 ...more

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#26 of 26 Long-Awaited Sequels That Were Most Worth The Wait #35 of 64 The Best Jack Lemmon Movies

16
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Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson, Art Carney

Released: 1978

Directed by: Howard Zieff

House Calls is a 1978 film comedy starring Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson, directed by Howard Zieff.
17
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Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon

Released: 1991

Directed by: Oliver 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 ...more

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#11 of 13 These Are The Most Historically Inaccurate Movies Of All Time #77 of 266 The Best Ensemble Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
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Jack Lemmon, Dyan Cannon, Walter Matthau

Released: 1997

Directed by: Martha 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. ...more
19
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Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman

Released: 1964

Directed by: Sidney 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 ...more

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#200 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #48 of 194 The Best Movies of the '60s

20
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Goldie Hawn, Ingrid Bergman, Walter Matthau

Released: 1969

Directed by: Gene 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. ...more

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#13 of 41 The Best Ingrid Bergman Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

21
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Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, Stephen Fry

Released: 1994

Directed by: Fred 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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#317 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #12 of 21 The Best Mathematics Movies

22
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Kirk Douglas, George Kennedy, Walter Matthau

Released: 1962

Directed by: David 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 ...more

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#40 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s #279 of 523 The Greatest Crime Movies Ever Made

23
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Barbra Streisand, Louis Armstrong, Walter Matthau

Released: 1969

Directed by: Gene 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 ...more

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#53 of 127 The Best Oscar-Winning Scores #24 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1960slisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
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Edward Furlong, Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek

Released: 1995

Directed by: Charles Matthau

The Grass Harp is a 1995 American comedy-drama film. It is based on the novella by Truman Capote; the screenplay was the final work of Oscar-winning screenwriter Stirling Silliphant. The film ...more
25
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Lucille Ball, Jayne Mansfield, Carl Reiner

Released: 1967

Directed by: Gene Kelly

A Guide for the Married Man is a 1967 American bedroom farce comedy film starring Walter Matthau, Robert Morse, and Inger Stevens. It was directed by Gene Kelly. It features a large number of ...more