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|
After the first time I saw The Apartment, I admired it so much and placed it in my favorite movies list. After watching it a second time on widescreen and digitally remastered DVD, my love for it just deepened. I was once again touched by Shirley MacLaine's portrayal of Miss Kubelik, a lovely but unlucky in love woman. I also laughed again at Jack Lemmon's perfect delivery of one-liners and other mannerisms.
Billy Wilder made The Apartment right after the huge success of his last film, Some Like It Hot, also with Jack Lemmon. The Apartment is not as funny, but it is more accomplished and deeper in meaning. Watching it in widescreen made me appreciate more the complexity of the story. Widescreen shots of C.C. Baxter's (Lemmon) apartment shows emptiness and loneliness. The shot of Baxter's office, which has employees in desks that seem to extend into eternity, shows that Baxter is just a faceless man in a populated world.
C.C. Baxter is an ambitious employee in an insurance company. He tries to work himself to a promotion by allowing his philandering bosses to use his apartment as a perfect hideaway. As an exchange for the use of his apartment, his bosses put him in the top ten of the efficiency reports. After getting a promotion and successfully asking the elevator girl Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) on a date, everything was going well for Baxter. Until he finds out that Miss Kubelik is the mistress of his big boss J.D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray).
Miss Kubelik and Sheldrake had a summer affair and Sheldrake wants Kubelik back admitting that he still loves her. Showing vulnerability, she agrees to get back together and ends up using Baxter's apartment twice a week. Naturally there will be problems. Sheldrake could not break up his marriage, and Kubelik does not like how the relationship is going but couldn't help being in love with him. Kubelik summed it up when she said `when you're in love with a married man, you shouldn't wear mascara.'
For Baxter, things couldn't be more complex. He wants to keep getting promotions but he might lose Kubelik in the process. He adores Kubelik but he doesn't want to be unemployed. Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond's script couldn't have been better written. It ranks up there with the likes of great scripts of Casablanca and Citizen Kane. They filled it with small intricate details and such funny lines. The Apartment is very ingenious and inspirational. When I wasn't laughing, I was smiling.
Billy Wilder perfected the style of satirical filmmaking. In The Apartment, he touches a lot of subjects. The movie deals with adultery, suicide, loneliness, and corporate cutthroats. The movie won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but surprisingly, no acting Oscars. I have seen many romantic comedies, and while many are good, most of them do not have the same heart and warmth as The Apartment. It is in my list of top ten favorite movies because it entertained me, inspired me, and showed me how to live human-wise.