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The Apartment (1960)

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.

Director:

Billy Wilder
Reviews
Popularity
2,776 ( 573)
Top Rated Movies #108 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Lemmon ... C.C. Baxter
Shirley MacLaine ... Fran Kubelik
Fred MacMurray ... Jeff D. Sheldrake
Ray Walston ... Joe Dobisch
Jack Kruschen ... Dr. Dreyfuss
David Lewis ... Al Kirkeby
Hope Holiday ... Mrs. Margie MacDougall
Joan Shawlee ... Sylvia
Naomi Stevens ... Mrs. Mildred Dreyfuss
Johnny Seven ... Karl Matuschka
Joyce Jameson ... The Blonde
Willard Waterman ... Mr. Vanderhoff
David White ... Mr. Eichelberger
Edie Adams ... Miss Olsen
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Storyline

As of November 1, 1959, mild mannered C.C. Baxter has been working at Consolidated Life, an insurance company, for close to four years, and is one of close to thirty-two thousand employees located in their Manhattan head office. To distinguish himself from all the other lowly cogs in the company in the hopes of moving up the corporate ladder, he often works late, but only because he can't get into his apartment, located off of Central Park West, since he has provided it to a handful of company executives - Mssrs. Dobisch, Kirkeby, Vanderhoff and Eichelberger - on a rotating basis for their extramarital liaisons in return for a good word to the personnel director, Jeff D. Sheldrake. When Baxter is called into Sheldrake's office for the first time, he learns that it isn't just to be promoted as he expects, but also to add married Sheldrake to the list to who he will lend his apartment. What Baxter is unaware of is that Sheldrake's mistress is Fran Kubelik, an elevator girl in the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Movie-wise, there has never been anything like THE APARTMENT laugh-wise or otherwise-wise! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

18 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 September 1960 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Het apartement See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$18,600,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,000,000, 31 January 1970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bud's salary is $94.70/week in 1959 or $769.26/week, just $40,000/year, in 2014. His rent is $85/month or $690.47/month in 2014. See more »

Goofs

During the opening pan of the New York skyline with the United Nations Building in the foreground, the shot is actually a "mirror-image" of the actual scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
C.C. Baxter: [narrating] On November 1st, 1959, the population of New York City was 8,042,783. If you laid all these people end to end, figuring an average height of five feet six and a half inches, they would reach from Times Square to the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan. I know facts like this because I work for an insurance company - Consolidated Life of New York. We're one of the top five companies in the country. Our home office has 31,259 employees, which is more than the entire population ...
See more »

Connections

Remade as Life in a Metro (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Capriccio Italien, Op. 45
(1880) (uncredited)
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
[Excerpt Sung/Hummed by Jack Lemmon during the film. Most notably during cooking dinner]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One Of the Finest Scripts Ever Written, and Jack Lemmon Creates One Of The Greatest Character Performances As The Wonderful C.C. Baxter
27 October 2006 | by Det_McNultySee all my reviews

For me Billy Wilder has always been one of my all time favourite directors and he has not made a single film that has not appealed to me. Billy Wilder sums up perfection all his films manage to succeed in what they set out to do. Billy Wilder is not just one of the greatest directors; he is also one of the finest scriptwriters ever. Creating flowing dialogue like no other and perfectly making his actors and actresses work with the script brilliantly. Billy Wilder has made dark noirs, hilarious musicals and studies of human nature. It is extremely difficult to fully describe a director as versatile and genius as Billy Wilder. His films have held up for generations and will continue to have the same mass appeal that his films have had since their opening days.

On the surface The Apartment might seem like a comedy and yes that's what it is on the surface. Once you start watching The Apartment you realise that actually it is a very dark film underneath and actually has characters that contemplate suicide. The fact is that The Apartment captures the realism of the everyday workman and makes you laugh as well as feel pity. The script is what keeps the film moving and shows how the characters in The Apartment change as the film progresses. The Apartment is about becoming somebody rather than being something that someone uses.

Jack Lemmon creates C.C. Baxter the young aspiring workman who just wants to have a good career and the perfect woman. Though something always goes wrong and he's perfectly able to get a woman, but not the one he wants. At times you pity C.C. Baxter because he's so kind to everyone and never gets the thing he wants in return because something will always get in the way. I think there are times in every man's life where you probably feel like C.C. Baxter in one way or another.

Jack Lemmon perfectly progresses with his character to make himself one of the most distinguishable character actors ever. Jack Lemmon works with an elegant skill at comedic performances and always captures the true essence of his characters. He seems to be one of those actors who are able to find the perfect chemistry with his fellow cast. What makes C.C. Baxter so brilliant is the fact he stands for everything the film is about. He becomes one of the mot uplifting and joyous ever put on screen. Shirley MacLaine is also excellent as the lovable Fran Kubelik (C.C. Baxter's heartthrob). From first impressions you'd think she is a beautiful and happy women, but she's actually very different to what you might expect.

The script is fast paced, memorable and most of all it helps sum up all the characters so well. It's a script that works so easily with its actors and helps to make some of the most superb character situations. The script is realistic as well and actually does feel like the kind of talk that would be used in similar situations in life. The script is extremely natural and the subtle undertones prove Billy Wilder's crafting of intellectual film-making.

The film is actually very similar to that of its A Wonderful Life and you could say Jack Lemmon is very similar to that of James Stewart. The direction is simple and fulfilling. It captures the image of "the apartment" perfectly and though just like any other New York apartment it feels extremely likable and memorable. The film's use of music is another high point and feels perfectly hand picked for the scenes it's used in. The film is actually quite sexually vibrant and does have many sexual undertones in its dialogue. Though subtle, it definitely is there and perfectly helps add more subtext to the film as a whole. A film to be studied in depth and not just watched.

A film that never gets old and always manages to make the viewer feel uplifted with happiness. A first class example of perfected film-making you're ever going to see. Yes it's a definitive must-see, a masterpiece that was way ahead of its time and much more than just a movie.


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