Cinema: Anthology of Gaffes

Anyone defining schlemiel and schlimazel should consult a Yiddish lexicon or A New Leaf. Traditionally, a schlemiel is a person who spills the soup; a schlimazel is the one on whom he spills it. In this film the schlemiel is Henrietta (Elaine May). The schlimazel is Henry (Walter Matthau).

Henry's lack of character has been concealed by layers of that splendid raiment, money. But, alas, Henry has dipped into principal twice too often, and now all he has left is his red Ferrari and his gentleman's gentleman Harold (George Rose). There are but two effortless avenues to wealth. One is inheritance—and Henry...

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