Description: Three's a crowd in Mike Nichols's period caper comedy -- or is it? To dodge the 1920s Mann Act barring the transport of women across state lines for immoral purposes, not-yet-divorced Nicky (Warren Beatty) has felonious buddy Oscar (Jack Nicholson) marry Nicky's runaway heiress sweetheart Freddy (Stockard Channing) so they can all escape New York for Los Angeles. The three set up house together, but trouble starts brewing when odd man out Oscar decides to get Nicky's attention by exercising his rights as a husband to Freddy. Exasperated with being stuck in the middle of the bickering pair, Freddy threatens to donate her impending inheritance to charity, inciting Oscar and Nicky to hatch a plan to bump her off and keep the money. But Freddy just will not die, prompting the three to reconsider the whole arrangement. With a period setting and pair of stellar lead actors similar to the 1973 blockbuster The Sting, a screenplay by Five Easy Pieces author Carol Eastman (under the name Adrien Joyce), and deft comedy director Nichols, The Fortune seemed like a can't-miss proposition. But it resoundingly flopped, as audiences preferred to see Beatty in his earlier 1975 starring role as a racy L.A. hairdresser in Shampoo, and to wait for Nicholson's later 1975 incarnation as an archetypal iconoclast in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. As with other late '60s-early '70s period films like Beatty's own Bonnie and Clyde (1967), The Fortune lends an updated sensibility to its old-fashioned milieu, complete with a very modern happy ending.~ Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide
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