Winner of five 1960 Academy Awards including Best Picture, The Apartment is legendary writer/director Billy Wilder at his scathing, satirical best, and one of “the finest comedies Hollywood has turned out” (Newsweek). C.C. “Bud” Baxter (Jack Lemmon) knows the way to success in business…it’s through the door of his apartment! By providing a perfect hideaway for philandering bosses, he reaps a series of undeserved promotions. But when Bud lends the key to big boss J.D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), he not only advances his career, but his own love life as well. For Sheldrake’s mistress is the lovely Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), the elevator girl of Bud’s dreams. Convinced that he is the only man for Fran, Bud must make the most important executive decision of his career: lose the girl…or his job. –MGM
Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city’s largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many German films until Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. Wilder immediately realized his Jewish ancestry would cause problems, so he emigrated to Paris, then the US. Although he spoke no English when he arrived in Hollywood, Wilder was a fast learner, and thanks to contacts such as Peter Lorre (with whom he shared an apartment), he was able to break into American films. His partnership with Charles Brackett started in 1938 and the team was responsible for writing some of Hollywood’s classic comedies, including Ninotchka (1939) and Ball of Fire (1941). The partnership expanded into a producer-director one in 1942, with Brackett producing, and the two turned out such classics… read more
Almost twenty years into his Hollywood directorial career Wilder was still churning out masterpieces and hot from the success of Some Like It Hot his winning streak continued with this smash hit which cleaned up at the Academy Awards. Lemmon and MacLaine are at their resplendent best, so touching and believable as they interpret the brilliant sardonic script provided for them by Billy and his writing partner Diamond.
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The Apartment highlights the gap between anglo-derived American puritan values and the more open accomodations of their European cousins.
Billy Wilder understands the reality of human behaviour… read review
The Apartment is deeply rooted in the 1960s business world, an era that came back in view with Mad Men. But it also touched relevancy in the 90s, possibly inspiring David Fincher’s Fight Club with… read review
What makes THE APARTMENT work? Is it the writing? Yes, but that’s not all. The direction? It’s perfect, but not what I’m really thinking of. What makes THE APARTMENT perfect is the acting genius of… read review