The Apartment Reviews
Terrific film. Cynical, realistic and unusually themed for its time. Though it was shot in black and white, the film doesn't leave an impression that it's something made during a time of taboo and massive censoring in Hollywood. Director Billy Wilder must be given all credits and the film makes sure that it isn't weighed down by excessive romanticism. Jack Lemmon again strikes gold in his lead role.
"The Apartment" was very controversial at the time for its sexual overtones; no sex scenes were shown, per se, but the script was peppered with oblique innuendos such as direct mentions to "ring a ding ding" activities. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the film was not in the adulterous affairs within C.C. Baxter's apartment, but the semi-graphic portrayal of drug overdosage. Shirley MacLaine, well-mannered elevator operator and two-way lover stuck in the middle of a secret triangle between C.C. and Fred MacMurray's Mr. Sheldrake, is so distraught and ridden with rejection that she consumes an entire bottle of sleeping pills, barely getting out of the predicament alive. Even when she does recover, she is left with suicidal thoughts and nasty hangovers. Remember, this movie was made in 1960, not 1990, so much of this stuff was ahead-of-its time and shocking to witness on the silver screen.
My one and only complain with "The Apartment" is the half-assed ending. Honestly, the scene when C.C. refuses the offer of a second-in-command position at the (literal) top of the building next to Mr. Sheldrake's office would have been the most compelling finish. In such a rigged business system where corruption and secrets abound, nobody can or will stop bad boys at playing shady games, hence why corruption is so prevalent today. What happened instead, which I absolutely hated, is that C.C. suddenly grew a heart and uncharacteristically refused to be part of the system and left. Everything that followed felt like a typical, paint-by-the-numbers happy ending, including Shirley MacLaine's running through the city to get to her lover-boy. (I guess the both ended happily ever after playing cards.) I would have much preferred a darker, more realistic ending, as everything else in "The Apartment" strived to echo problems in contemporary American society.
one of the best love stories told on screen. the selfless act of love resulted in a genuine, ever-growing, reciprocity. <3
It was great to see the little snippets of life in this time period and the cultural references, and the office space shown by director Billy Wilder is on its own fantastic (wow, talk about an 'open office' plan). It's interesting to see several actors you'll know from later works: MacMurray (the father in 'My Three Sons', though he had also been in Wilder's 'Double Indemnity' and other films earlier), David White (who depending on your 60's TV knowledge you may recognize as Darrin's boss in 'Bewitched'), and Ray Walston (who was the hardest to connect for me, but when I finally got it I was quite happy with myself ... he was the actor who, 22 years later, would so brilliantly play Mr. Hand opposite Jeff Spicoli, played by Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High).
But I digress. MacLaine is the real star here, with several great moments. While you can see the ending coming from a mile away, there are elements of real melancholy in this movie, including a scene with Lemmon and a woman in a bar, both down on their luck, which is priceless. There is also some edge to the movie with all that playing around, and a wild company holiday party, so that the movie doesn't feel sugary-sweet. I don't think it should have gotten five Oscars (including Best Picture and Best Director), particularly in the year Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece 'Psycho' was released - this was a huge miss by the Academy - but it's certainly a good movie, and enjoyable to watch 55 years later. As a last bit of movie trivia - this was the last black and white film to win the Best Picture award, that is, until 'Schindler's List' won in 1993.
This film is serious but also has elements that are comedic as well all at once. The thing is that the film can jump quickly from serious drama to comedy, to romance in a split second. This is a film that can be defined under one subject alone.
It begins in the city in a large office for insurance.
Uncle Martin shows up in this film.
He is loaning out his apartment to other people.
The boss played by Fred McMurry is trying to go out with lady in elevator but is still married to his wife and looking for a devoirce.
Once his Ms. Olsen secretary shows up they leave. The secretary listens to bosses phone conversation and a spy,
Friends allow and recommend Baxter to be promoted to an 2nd executive office.
People in 4 or 5 in office keep asking to borrow Basters apartment.
Christmas party in 19th Floor of the office
Secretary Ms. Olsen tells of all the women the boss has been going out with.
Mr. Baxter is the second youngest executive at the office.
Elevator lady plays music on record player that she gave a gift to the boss after the boss leaves.
The elevator lady overdoses on sleeping pills.
The boss Jeff fires the secretary for telling elevator lady of all the lovers she has had.
The Secretary Ms. Olsen has a meeting with Bosses wife.
The two Mr Baxter & elevator girl have missed work for two days and now a guy is looking for the elevator girl.
This movie I liked the wide shots and decisions. I liked the
I liked the ending, the way this film looks in Black and white. This film looks at using space well often with one character on one side of the screen while the other character is on opposite side expressing a different emotion and thought than the other.
This film focuses on the details.
For instance Baxter fears that the Elevator assistant will try to commit siuwiside so he removes all the things in mirror cabinet. Including the razor blades. Which later on Mr. Baxter tries using his razor to find that he took them out earlier.
This film is filled with great cast of actors & actresses.
This film has elements that can be considered controversial such as a married man having a relationship with other women in his own office. A guy letting other employees use his apartment for particular reasons.