125 Min. | Comedy – Drama – Romance | September 1960
IMDB Rating: 8.3
Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray
The Apartment Review
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 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 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. 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.’
Billy Wilder perfected the style of satirical filmmaking. In The Apartment, he touches a lot of subjects. The Apartment 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. Overall, The Apartment is an excellent film.
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