A warmhearted and therefore predictable video biography of this wonderful character actor. His professionalism meant that he never got stuck with 'star' status but I always thought his very individual performances were a joy to watch. You've probably got your faves, mine are 'A New Leaf' and 'Charley Varrick'. (Incidentally, why Paramount has never released Elaine May's 'A New Leaf' on DVD remains a mystery; it surely has to be one of the top comedies of the Seventies).
This Hollywood Collection disc runs to fifty-one minutes (though the packaging says eighty-six) and it was made in 1997. I was expecting more, in particular more clips from more movies than are actually here. Nothing from Plaza Suite; Bad News Bears; Taking of Pelham 123; A New Leaf or Charley Varrick. No doubt the costly copyright fees prevented this but it does leave me with the impression that this is a rather half-hearted production (so a generous three stars). There isn't even a list of all his movies, with a poster or maybe a still, in the dull Extras. Plugs for other Hollywood Collection DVDs are here, though.
Various directors and actors contribute generous praise for Matthau's acting and fortunately he is included, too, talking about some of his Broadway days, Hollywood movies and the fun he had with various leading ladies. His childhood and teen years are summed up with historical black and photos or stock newsreel material to tie in with the commentary.
Overall I thought this was a rather predictable lightweight documentary.