The Apartment (1960)
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as C.C. Baxter
as Fran Kubelik
as J.D. Sheldrake
as Mr. Dobisch
as Mr. Kirkeby
as Dr. Dreyfuss
as Miss Olsen
as Margie MacDougall
as Karl Matuschka
as Mrs. Dreyfuss
as Mrs. Lieberman
as The Blonde
as Mr. Vanderhof
as Mr. Eichelberger
as Santa Claus
as Office Worker
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Critic Reviews for The Apartment
Production and direction wise, Wilder sustains his usual excellence. But his story is controversial and I am not one of those who can quite see The Apartment as the great comedy-drama he evidently intended it to be.
Wilder, a bilious and mercurial wit, here becomes a wide-screen master of time ...
Directed by Wilder with attention to detail and emotional reticence that belie its inherent darkness and melodramatic core, it's lifted considerably by the performances.
A comedy of men's-room humours and water-cooler politics that now and then among the belly laughs says something serious and sad about the struggle for success, about what it often does to a man, and about the horribly small world of big business.
With tremendous performances by the two leads (Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine), this is yet another "must see" title to be found on Wilder's resume.
Audience Reviews for The Apartment
It is a curious thing that this film is labeled by many as a comedy when in fact it is so melancholy and rather heavy in tone. A deeply involving dramatic romance with great dialogue and three-dimensional characters, even if the plot is a bit predictable.
Along with Ernst Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner, Billy Wilder's 1960 Oscar-sweeper The Apartment elevates the workplace romance into a sublime erotics of officious addresses (the omnipresent Mister and Miss) and economic conundrum. In this film, actuary C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) sleeps his way up the Consolidated Life ladder by proxy, as philandering execs use his 67th Street digs for scheduled romps. Meanwhile, Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), the elevator operator he chivalrously fancies, can't get personnel czar Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) out of her mind. The triangulation keeps its edges with on-your-toes dialogue and a fine-tuned critique of corporate culture. Lemmon navigates the line between simpering and sympathetic with nervous WASP-ish energy. Most indelibly, MacLaine gives us a gamine with the whole gamut of emotions, a cursed capacity to love, and a limit to her own self-pity.
As in Shop, Christmastime and suicide mingle, and the name "Kubelik" has the old-world ring of Kralik, Matuschek, et al.; Baxter's Jewish neighbors put him on the road from schnook to mensch (perhaps this is Wilder responding to the critique that he wasn't Jewish enough?). And Billy again pulls of his trademark feat of finding pathos in taboo subjects. He had a sign in his office that read, "How Would Lubitsch Do It?" and here that director's elusive touch hovers over the proceedings, lending a lightness to even the most mercenary transactions. A classic in the truest sense of the word.
Lovely movie. Without knowing it from each other, C.C. and Fran are both jerked around by selfish and arrogant men.
What I liked about it is that it doesn't turn into a sugary romantic movie, the characters stay true to themselves.
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