Watch The Prisoner of Second Avenue
- 1 hr 38 min
The Prisoner of Second Avenue is a comedy about the miseries of middle age starring Oscar winners Jack Lemmon and Anne Bancroft. Based on the hit Broadway play by Neil Simon, the film follows a New York couple as they face an increasingly difficult existence. Mel Edison (Lemmon) loses his job after 20 years of service. He returns home to the Upper East side of Manhattan where a garbage strike, a heat wave and a broken air conditioner make his mood go from bad to worse. His wife Edna (Bancroft) greets Mel with the terrible news that their apartment has been burglarized. Mel tries to find another job, but between his age, the aggravations of his noisy neighbors and his chronic indigestion, he does not present as an attractive job candidate. Edna does find work to keep the household going, but soon sees that her husband seems to be experiencing a nervous breakdown. When Edna loses her job, she finally reaches out to Mel’s family. For the most part, his sisters have nothing but bad advice, but his brother Harry (Gene Saks), a successful chandelier manufacturer, offers to help. Harry suggests that the couple escape from the hard living in New York City and come stay with him in the country. He even offers to take a lung x-ray to prove that life outside the city equals better physical health as well as mental relief. Mel and Edna visit Harry and enjoy a much needed break from the demands of Manhattan. With the help of his brother, and some time away from the noise, congestion and intensity of New York City, Mel begins to recover his mental stability and is ready to face his future with a renewed sense of hope and possibility.