**/**** Image B+ Sound B+ Extras C
starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, John Fiedler, Herb Edelman
screenplay by Neil Simon, based on his play
directed by Gene Saks
by Alex Jackson My high-school psychology teacher used The Odd Couple's Oscar and Felix as an example of two men who had never resolved the anal stage of Sigmund Freud's model for psychosexual development. Oscar (Walter Matthau) is anal expulsive, rebelling against toilet-training well into adulthood, wallowing in his own filth and living completely in the moment. Felix (Jack Lemmon) is anal-retentive, finding pleasure in withholding his feces as a child, and as an adult obsessively cleaning and re-cleaning his surroundings and living by a strictly-controlled schedule. Indeed, playwright Neil Simon's The Odd Couple seems custom-built to illustrate the anal-stage concept in Freudian psychosexual development. In a broader sense, The Odd Couple is also an overt embodiment of the Apollonian/Dionysian dichotomy: Felix represents the need to create order, whereas Oscar represents the need to maintain a natural chaotic state.