The ApartmentDirector: Billy Wilder
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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Cast & Crew
|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|
|Hope Holiday||Margie MacDougall|
|Johnny Seven||Karl Matuschka|
|Naomi Stevens||Mrs. Dreyfuss|
|Joyce Jameson||The Blonde|
|Willard Waterman||Mr. Vanderhof|
|David White||Mr. Eichelberger|
|Frances Lax||Mrs. Lieberman|
|Dorothy Abbott||Office Worker|
|Hal Smith||Santa Claus|
|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|
|Hal W. Polaire||Asst. Director|
|Milt Rice||Special Effects|
|Alexandre Trauner||Art Director|
|Allen K. Wood||Production Manager|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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!
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.
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!!!
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.)
"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.)
"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.
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.
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.
"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]