The Apartment

( 11 )

Overview

Widely regarded as a comedy in 1960, The Apartment seems more melancholy with each passing year. Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, a go-getting office worker who loans his tiny apartment to his philandering superiors for their romantic trysts. He runs into trouble when he finds himself sharing a girlfriend Shirley MacLaine with his callous boss Fred MacMurray. Director/co-writer Billy Wilder claimed that the idea for The Apartment stemmed from a short scene in the 1945 romantic drama Brief Encounter in which the ...
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Overview

Widely regarded as a comedy in 1960, The Apartment seems more melancholy with each passing year. Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, a go-getting office worker who loans his tiny apartment to his philandering superiors for their romantic trysts. He runs into trouble when he finds himself sharing a girlfriend Shirley MacLaine with his callous boss Fred MacMurray. Director/co-writer Billy Wilder claimed that the idea for The Apartment stemmed from a short scene in the 1945 romantic drama Brief Encounter in which the illicit lovers Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson arrange a rendezvous in a third person's apartment. Wilder was intrigued about what sort of person would willingly vacate his residence to allow virtual strangers a playing field for hanky panky. His answer to that question wound up winning 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. The Apartment was adapted by Neil Simon and Burt Bacharach into the 1969 Broadway musical Promises, Promises.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Billy Wilder always liked to thread a strong streak of cynicism through his comedies, and he rarely made a film with a darker undertow than The Apartment. The effervescent comic charm of Jack Lemmon and quirky beauty of Shirley MacLaine give the film a palatable sweetness while she would be given more glamorous treatment in later films, MacLaine was never more adorable than she was here, but they sugarcoat a very bitter pill in what is ultimately a story about moral accountability and the lack thereof in American business. While the film starts off as a naughty-for-its-time sex comedy about sad sack C.C. Baxter Lemmon who discovers he can curry the favor of his many bosses by letting them use his apartment for romantic indiscretions, it takes a more serious turn when we get to know Fran Kubelik MacLaine, an elevator operator with precious little self-esteem. While most of the women Baxter's superiors lure to the tiny den of seduction look like brassy bar girls who've been this route before and know what they're doing, Kubelik is at heart a sweet if disappointed girl who desperately wants to be loved and who has made the mistake of falling for the duplicitous J.D. Sheldrake Fred MacMurray, whose callous indifference to the agony he inflicts falls just short of horrifying. Anyone who grew up watching MacMurray on My Three Sons may be shocked to see how slimy he is in this role. Ultimately, Baxter and Kubelik seem like two innocents stranded in a corrupt world, and what's most remarkable is not that they finally end up together, but that they both survive the experience intact and that Wilder is able to wring so many laughs out of a story that runs so close to tragedy. Mark Deming
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Billy Wilder always liked to thread a strong streak of cynicism through his comedies, and he rarely made a film with a darker undertow than The Apartment. The effervescent comic charm of Jack Lemmon and quirky beauty of Shirley MacLaine give the film a palatable sweetness (while she would be given more glamorous treatment in later films, MacLaine was never more adorable than she was here), but they sugarcoat a very bitter pill in what is ultimately a story about moral accountability (and the lack thereof) in American business. While the film starts off as a naughty-for-its-time sex comedy about sad sack C.C. Baxter (Lemmon) who discovers he can curry the favor of his many bosses by letting them use his apartment for romantic indiscretions, it takes a more serious turn when we get to know Fran Kubelik (MacLaine), an elevator operator with precious little self-esteem. While most of the women Baxter's superiors lure to the tiny den of seduction look like brassy bar girls who've been this route before and know what they're doing, Kubelik is at heart a sweet (if disappointed) girl who desperately wants to be loved and who has made the mistake of falling for the duplicitous J.D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), whose callous indifference to the agony he inflicts falls just short of horrifying. (Anyone who grew up watching MacMurray on My Three Sons may be shocked to see how slimy he is in this role.) Ultimately, Baxter and Kubelik seem like two innocents stranded in a corrupt world, and what's most remarkable is not that they finally end up together, but that they both survive the experience intact -- and that Wilder is able to wring so many laughs out of a story that runs so close to tragedy.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/11/1997
  • UPC: 027616609939
  • Original Release: 1960
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Lemmon C.C. Baxter
Shirley MacLaine Fran Kubelik
Fred MacMurray J.D. Sheldrake
Ray Walston Mr. Joe Dobisch
Edie Adams Miss Olsen
David Lewis Mr. Al Kirkeby
Jack Kruschen Dr. Dreyfuss
Joan Shawlee Sylvia
Hope Holiday Margie MacDougall
Johnny Seven Karl Matuschka
Naomi Stevens Mrs. Dreyfuss
Joyce Jameson The Blonde
Willard Waterman Mr. Vanderhof
David White Mr. Eichelberger
Benny Burt Bartender
Dorothy Abbott Office Worker
Frances Lax Mrs. Lieberman
Hal Smith Santa Claus
Technical Credits
Billy Wilder Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Edward Boyle Set Decoration/Design
Adolph Deutsch Score Composer
I.A.L. Diamond Associate Producer, Screenwriter
Doane Harrison Associate Producer
Joseph La Shelle Cinematographer
Fred Lau Sound/Sound Designer
Dan Mandell Editor
Hal W. Polaire Asst. Director
Harry Ray Makeup
Milt Rice Special Effects
Alexandre Trauner Art Director
Allen K. Wood Production Manager
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Excellent: What a great movie, with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacL

    Excellent:
    What a great movie, with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. You couldn't find a more funny and still serious
    film than this. The performance's by the supporting actors like Fred MacMurray, Edie Adams and Jack Kruschen
    make this film wonderful. Their is a reason why this film won Best Picture and with the great Billy Wilder at it's helm
    you couldn't go wrong. Get it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Home Humor.

    This was a great DVD for getting some great laughs and just enjoying the hi-jinks of the protagonist and the supporting cast. *Great classic film. If you enjoy this type of humor be sure to check out this DVD --> If you are looking for a DVD to assist you with reducing your stress through laugh therapy this is probably a good choice. "Boys Night Out" with James Garner and Kim Novak is a real riot! There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to get you "high" from laughing. This DVD is a great comedy, grab it and get your laugh on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

    When you're in love with a married man, you shouldn't wear mascara.

    Yes, I know. I like it that way. Makes me look the way I feel.
    That's the way it crumbles... cookie-wise.
    Shut up and deal.
    Some people take, some people get took. And they know they're getting took and there's nothing they can do about it.
    I'd like to spell it out for you... only I can't spell!
    Mildred! He's at it again.

    Just some of the gold that Wilder and Diamond wrote. Most of these are from Shirley, but one is from Jack and one is from a minor supporting character, who kind makes the movie for me. This movie is just perfection, and I don't have one stupid itty bitty complaint about it. It really shows the hell the "other woman" goes through, not just the wife. You actually feel sorry for Shirley's character, because she doesn't look like the average bimbo a husband would cheat with. She does however look fabulous in this movie. Jack is always INCREDIBLE. He's the PERFECT person for this role, I cannot think of one stinking person to put in his place. He turns what should be a very dark drama with very dark subject matter into a goofy movie about finding love, losing it, getting it back again, deciding to give it up, and go somewhere else you know will accept you. Maybe it's not "Some Like it Hot" funny, but it is definitely up there is some of the best stuff done ever out there. 1 million years from now, if the Earths still spinning and movies aren't completely for sh*t, they will still turn to this movie for excellent writing, directing, acting, and producing. Just incredible. If there is one fiber of doubt in your body, like there was for me, go against every single bit of it and JUST GET IT. You will NOT be disappointed. I watched this movie again the very next day, I just couldn't get enough of it!!! Buy it!!!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One of my favorite movies

    I have always listed this movie on my favorite movies list from the time I first saw it. I think that anyone that enjoys a good laugh as well as a touchingly romantic story will enjoy this dvd.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    If you watch MAD MEN, watch this classic film!

    If you watch the AMC TV series "Mad Men," then don't miss this classic from 1960. (During the first season of "Mad Men," some of the female characters talk about having seen "The Apartment" and relating strongly with its female characters.)<BR/><BR/>"The Apartment" (like "Mad Men") exposes the sexism of the late 1950's/early 1960's while never once sacrificing the believability of the characters. It is funny (it was originally thought of as a comedy) but also very dark (which is why, despite all the laughs, modern audiences might view it as being more of a drama.)<BR/><BR/>"The Apartment" won the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year and Best Music from a film; it was loved by critics and audiences alike. It is, simply put, one of the BEST American films of the mid-20th century.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    "That's just the way it crumbles . . . cookie-wise.",

    "The Apartment" is a dirty fairy tale as only Billy Wilder can tell them, a bouncing comedy that handles a frankly sordid theme with intelligence and compassion. Its message is that a young man who lets his bosses use his apartment to carry out extramarital affairs is operating in the best American tradition of individual initiative and enterprise. The dialogue is frank the picture has atmosphere and it creates a feeling about people. Bud Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is just another night-school diploma in the personnel files of a big insurance company in New York until the fateful day when it dawn on him that if his own virtues aren't enough to get ahead other people's vices might help. He lends his apartment to a department head who is having an affair with a telephone operator. Soon he is slipping his key to four philandering executives. His superiors write glowing reports on his work, and the reports soon come to the attention of the big boss (Fred MacMurray). "Baxter, as far as I'm concerned, you're executive material," he says . . . because he wants the key too. Before long, Baxter is an assistant to the boss. Suddenly he discovers that he has outsmarted himself--the girl that his boss takes to his apartment (Shirley MacLaine) is the girl of his dreams. In "Some Like it Hot", Wilder achieved humanity through parody in "The Apartment" he achieves it through a moral balance. There are no villains in "The Apartment". The closest one comes to a villain is Sheldrake (MacMurray), a name that must have personal significance for Wilder since there is a Sheldrake in "Sunset Boulevard", "Ace in the Hole", and "Kiss Me, Stupid". In the film he is the familiar suburban adulterer: the respectable husband and father who is never on time for dinner because he is with his secretary, or, when he tires of her, with elevator operator Fran (MacLaine). Inevitably, Sheldrake will pay for his adultery if anything "The Apartment" is a moral fairy tale because Sheldrake pays doubly. Thus Sheldrake's ex-secretary/mistress informs Mrs. Sheldrake of her husband's infidelity with Fran and she throws him out of the house. However, now that he is available, Fran is not. While it may be hard to imagine now, "The Apartment" actually shocked some moviegoers upon its initial release. The problem wasn't the central premise--an ambitious office worker performs dubious favors in exchange for career advancement--but the actual treatment of it. In the hands of writer-director Billy Wilder and his collaborator, scenarist I.A.L. Diamond, "The Apartment" became a razor-sharp farce that equated corporate success with immorality. Actually, filmmakers in communist Russia viewed it as an indictment against capitalism. The central character, "Bud" Baxter, is actually little more than a pimp for upper management while the girl of his dreams, elevator operator Fran Kubelik, is a demoralized working girl whose solution to a failed love affair is to commit suicide. These are not the most wholesome characters in the world and we're talking about the hero and heroine of the film! However, as played by Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, Bud and Fran not only win the audience's sympathy but also charm them in the process. The most astonishing thing about "The Apartment" is how Billy Wilder manages to keep the tone light and playful while exposing the worst aspects of Manhattan corporate life, from the drunken office parties to the casual adultery committed by married employees. Despite these controversial elements, the film racked up ten Oscar nominations and won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay of 1960. [filmfactsman]

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    New Transfer Required for This Outstanding Dark Comedy

    Legendary director, Billy Wilder¿s 'The Apartment' is one of those little jabs of tawdry pleasure that crop up every once in a while. It¿s the tale of an overworked office jockey, C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) who wants so desperately to gain access to the executive suite that he starts renting out his apartment to company executives that are having affairs with their secretaries. Baxter¿s shy repartee with elevator operator, Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) seems promising enough for an office romance of his own. That is, until Baxter learns that Fran is in love with his boss, Jeff Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray). However, when Fran accepts that her affair with Jeff can go nowhere because he refuses to divorce his wife, she begins to realize her night in shining armor might not come with a key to the executive washroom, but is genuine and good for her nevertheless. MGM DVD has done a below average job of remastering this DVD. The 2:35:1 anamorphic picture exhibits overly harsh, digital characteristics that are wholly unflattering. Though the gray scale is well balanced, offering fine detail, there are excessive amounts of shimmering, edge enhancement and aliasing throughout. Shadow delineation and contrast levels during the night scenes are poorly rendered. The soundtrack is mono and strident. There are no extras.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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