The Prisoner of Second Avenue
was not one of Simon's best plays, nor was the film adaptation one of his better screenplays. Lemmon, an ad man, is married to Bancroft, and they dwell in a small, fashionable, expensive, and well-furnished cheese box on the East Side of Manhattan. When he
loses his job, Lemmon must suffer the humiliation of having a breadwinning wife. That brings him to the edge of a nervous collapse.
This is not a very funny subject, and the picture wavers between comedy and drama. The film has lots of one-liners and plenty of pathos. On the stage, the couple was played by Peter Falk and Lee Grant, who may have been better suited to the rol...