The Apartment (1960)

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Rating: 6 stars from 4 ratings

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  •  (5 out of 5 stars)

One of the all time greatest romantic comedies! Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine nail ever nuance of Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond's perfect script. Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter who's an insurance agent climbing the corporate ladder. To get to the next level he lends out his Upper West Side apartment to coworkers so they can conduct their extramarital affairs. In turn they recommend Baxter for higher positions at the office. Shirley MacLaine plays Fran Kubelik who's an elevator operator in Baxter's building. Baxter is in love with Kubelik, but she's in love with Baxter's boss Mr. Sheldrake played by Fred MacMurray. Eventually Baxter and Kubelik both realize they're being used by Sheldrake and in the meantime they fall in love. The film is funny, but also touching with darker undercurrents of the loneliness of the two main characters. It won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, and deservedly so.

The Apartment is a 1960 American romantic comedy film, produced and directed by Billy Wilder from a screenplay he co-wrote with I. A. L. Diamond, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. The supporting cast are Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, David Lewis, Willard Waterman, David White, Hope Holiday, and Edie Adams.

The story follows C. C. ?Bud? Baxter (Lemmon), an insurance clerk who, in the hope of climbing the corporate ladder, lets more-senior coworkers use his Upper West Side apartment to conduct extramarital affairs. Bud is attracted to the elevator operator, Fran Kubelik (MacLaine) who in turn is having an affair with Bud's immediate boss, Sheldrake (MacMurray).

The Apartment was distributed by United Artists to favorable reviews and commercial success, despite controversy owing to its subject matter. At the 33rd Academy Awards, The Apartment was nominated for ten awards and won five, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. Lemmon and MacLaine were Oscar-nominated and won Golden Globe Awards for their performances in the film. It provided the basis for Promises, Promises, a 1968 Broadway musical by Burt Bacharach, Hal David, and Neil Simon.

In the years since its release, The Apartment has come to be regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, appearing in lists by the American Film Institute and Sight and Sound magazine, and being selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.

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