Bud Baxter is a minor clerk in a huge New York insurance company, until he discovers a quick way to climb the corporate ladder. He lends out his apartment to the executives as a place to take their mistresses. Although he often has to deal with the aftermath of their visits, one night he's left with a major problem to solve.
|Release Date||:||June 15, 1960|
|MPAA Rating||:||e Livre|
|Genres||:||Comedy, Drama, Romance|
|Production Company||:||United Artists, The Mirisch Company|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Billy Wilder, Hal W. Polaire, David Salven|
|Writers||:||Billy Wilder, I. A. L. Diamond|
|Casts||:||Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, Naomi Stevens, Hope Holiday, Edie Adams, Joan Shawlee, Johnny Seven, David Lewis, Joyce Jameson, Willard Waterman, David White, Dorothy Abbott, Ralph Moratz, Joe Palma, Bill Baldwin, Benny Burt, Lynn Cartwright, Mason Curry, David Macklin, Hal Smith|
|Plot Keywords||:||new york, new year's eve, lovesickness, age difference, suicide attempt, office, flat, spaghetti, christmas party, winter, clerk, tennis racket, extramarital affair|
Jack Lemmon is the man.
The Apartment really surprised me. The Best Picture winner starts off right in the middle of the action, but yet the first hour seems long and overrun. Too much time seems spent in trying to develop the characters (and oh so many of them) and not enough time is spent on just seeing what will happen. Just when I was about to lose faith, the film picks it up like I have never seen before. The whole sub-plot of the four guys wanting to use Lemmon's apartment for their evening tyrsts is dropped and Wilder smartly concentrates on Lemmon, MacLaine and MacMurray and the film creates true magic.
The Apartment is more of a drama than a comedy and balances the two elements perfectly. Just after one of the more dramatic moments of the film, we see Lemmon straining his pasta with a tennis racquet. The use of the doctor and his wife in supporting roles are completely there for comedy and yet add so much to the film. The ending also rates up there with the best of all time using an old device that doesn't seem at all cliched in this film. Some say that "Some like it hot" was Wilder's best, but now I have to disagree. The Apartment is better and surely would have made my top ten had the first hour not been so predictable.
How Jack Lemmon didn't win Best Actor is beyond me. His is a great performance, getting to act on more than one scale. MacMurray, another Wilder favourite is perfectly cast in the role of a family-wrecker. I wish they would have put a scene in which his wife confronts him with "The News". MacLaine glows on the screen even when she is sick and in bed.
I fully recommend this film to all, it being Wilder's best makes it a must see.