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The Odd Couple

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Many viewers of the previous video versions of Neil Simon’s semiclassic comedy have been known to get as grumpy as the movie’s mismatched roommates. That’s because director Gene Saks’ wide-screen compositions don’t lend themselves to panning and scanning, so when Lemmon and Matthau were together in a scene, usually only one of them was on-screen at a time. The new Odd Couple, letterboxed at last, restores the duo nose-to-nose, and some of Saks’ other images turn out to be surprisingly witty — the poker game at Oscar’s place, for example, now appears to have been staged like a Manhattan version of the Last Supper. A-