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The Apartment

Jack Lemmon , Shirley MacLaine    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
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Romance at its most anti-romantic--that is the Billy Wilder stamp of genius, and this Best Picture Academy Award winner from 1960 is no exception. Set in a decidedly unsavoury world of corporate climbing and philandering, the great filmmaker's trenchant, witty satire-melodrama takes the office politics of a corporation and plays them out in the apartment of lonely clerk CC Baxter (Jack Lemmon). By lending out his digs to the higher-ups for nightly extramarital flings with their secretaries, Baxter has managed to ascend the business ladder faster than even he imagined. The story turns even uglier, though, when Baxter's crush on the building's melancholy elevator operator (Shirley MacLaine) runs up against her long-standing affair with the big boss (a superbly smarmy Fred MacMurray). The situation comes to a head when she tries to commit suicide in Baxter's apartment. Not the happiest or cleanest of scenarios, and one that earned the famously caustic and cynically humoured Wilder his share of outraged responses, but looking at it now, it is a funny, startlingly clear-eyed vision of urban emptiness and is unfailingly understanding of the crazy decisions our hearts sometimes make. Lemmon and MacLaine are ideally matched and while everyone cites Wilder's Some Like It Hot closing line "Nobody's perfect" as his best, MacLaine's no-nonsense final words--"Shut up and deal"--are every bit as memorable. Wilder won three Oscars for The Apartment, for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay (cowritten with long-time collaborator I A L Diamond). --Robert Abele

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The Apartment

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Should All be Like This July 6 2004
By J
Wouldn't it be great if all movies were this good? This funny? This wise? This clever? This heartfelt? This true? My favorite Jack Lemmon movie. He plays a perfect schmuck who discovers himself. My favorite Shirley MacLaine movie. She plays a sweet but wounded modern girl who wises up. My favorite Billy Wilder movie. A perfect ear for dialogue and eye for mannerisms in his adopted country. Fred McMurray turns in a perfect performance as a shameless cad. No reason not to own this on dvd.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A now classic,returns in a special edition April 21 2013
By Robert Badgley TOP 500 REVIEWER
The Apartment(released June/60)stars,among others,Jack Lemmon as C.C.Baxter,Shirley MacLaine as Fran Kubelik,Fred MacMurray as Jeff D. Sheldrake,Ray Walston as Joe Dobisch and Jack Kruschen as Dr. Dreyfuss.These oldies but goodies don't cross my desk too much anymore(the shame),but when they do I dive in for all it's worth.This"oldie but goodie" was nominated for five OSCARS and caught two for best picture and best director.And director Wilder is in top form here throughout,as is his two main stars MacLaine and Lemmon.
The story finds Lemmon working as an accounting clerk in a high rise New York City office building.Lemmon is your everyman,working nine to five,or in this case 8:50 to 4:20.Lemmon is the go-to guy for four of his bosses who have regular on-going trysts.That is,when the bosses need some alone time with their women,Lemmon,a bachelor himself,loans out his place to whoever asks first.It is a long standing thing with Lemmon going back before he even joined the company.It is not above the pale for his temporary guests to ask for a stocked liquor cabinet and food,when needed.Lemmon has even gone so far as to cover up these trysts at his place to his fellow tenants and landlady.Lemmon makes it seem like HE is the Casanova to end all Casanova's.
Now Lemmon may be a soft touch,but he has hopes his"generosity" with his bosses will someday be rewarded.And that day eventually comes.His four bosses` recommendations get the attention of the big boss,played by Fred MacMurray.Now Fred isn't a slouch either,and he knows what is behind all those glowing recommendations by Lemmon's bosses.Just when Lemmon thinks he is in for that promotion,Fred throws Lemmon a curve.If Lemmon plays ball with him he will get that promotion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See Classic Dec 6 2009
By M.D.B.
A fantastic movie from beginning to end. Top notch writing and acting. You will not be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "I love you, Miss Kubelik." Oct. 9 2006
Buddy Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is a meek and mild nobody in an enormous insurance company who has an "arrangement" with his superiors: They can use his apartment to entertain their ladyfriends in exchange for recommendations for his promotion. The deal works out fine, until he discovers that his big boss (Fred MacMurray)'s girlfriend is the object of his own affection, elevator operator Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine).

"The Apartment" is a quiet, character-driven comedy about shady dealings in the world of big business, with just enough touching dramatic scenes to tug at your heart, and it won the 1960 Best Picture Oscar, thanks to the excellent cast and honest script. Nobody played the Everyman character as well as Lemmon. He's involved in an unsavory situation, but is so sweet, likeable, and noble that you really care about him. MacLaine gives an uncharacteristically subdued and thoughtful performance, and MacMurray is perfect as philandering paramour. The beautiful title tune is one of the loveliest movie love themes ever. The subject matter was considered somewhat racy back then, but now it would probably be rated PG. A clever, sweet, and entertaining movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute Gem from Lemmon and Wilder June 2 2004
Mr. Lemmon figured prominently in a good dozen of the best films ever made, and he is at the absolute top of his game in "The Apartment" as C.C. Baxter - an up and coming business man who makes his way through the corporate ranks faster than usual by making his apartment available to higher executives to carry on affairs without paying for hotel rooms. This is probably a borderline premise for a romantic comedy today, and it must have seemed absolutely scandalous 44 years ago, but the truth is that it is very contemporary in tone today while also being funny, thoughtful and poignant. It's too bad there's noone as clever as Billy Wilder making Romantic Comedies today. Shirley Maclaine has never been better, and anyone who grew up watching Fred MacMurray in "My Three Sons" or any of those Disney films will be surprised to see him playing an absolute scumbag in this movie. The dialogue is witty and sharp and the acting is crisper than a fresh celery stick. This is a good time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No Rain April 12 2004
I'm not going to rain on anybody's parade. This is a terrific movie, and lots of other reviewers have already ticked off all of the things that make it terrific. It's smart and sophisticated, with plenty of witty dialogue. Although some of the details are dated, such as the interminable rows of pencil pushers at desks with adding machines, the underlying office politics are just as real and just as nasty today as ever. The acting is great. Not only are Lemmon and MacLaine wonderful together, the rest of the cast is also excellent.
The only thing I have to add is that, despite clever lines, funny scenes and an acceptably happy ending, THE APARTMENT is as much a drama as it is a comedy. The seamy undercurrent of office politics and the way people ruthlessly use each in their personal relationships gives this little tale a grim, almost vicious, feel at times. Much of what you see in THE APARTMENT is not the least bit funny.
Not to be repetitive, but this is an outstanding movie. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's not really a family movie, though. True to the period in which it was made, there's no overt sexual content, but there are definitely adult themes and kids probably wouldn't fully "get" what's going on, anyway. Be that as it may, THE APARTMENT would be a great addition to almost any classic movie collection.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The boss borrows his apartmwnt for a love tryst
Director: Billy Wilder
Format: Black & White
Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Video Release Date: August 3, 1999
Jack Lemmon ... Calvin Clifford 'C.C. Read more
Published on June 26 2004 by Joseph H Pierre
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
This is Jack Lemmon at his best. I think this movie was funny, witty and had everything most storylines in today's films lack......depth.
Published on March 19 2004 by Jennifer C. Strype
5.0 out of 5 stars Bud's success is an open door policy...
'Bud' Baxter (Jack Lemon) works for an insurance company in New York and throughout his career he has seen the slow process of few people advancing within the company. Read more
Published on March 1 2004 by Kim Anehall
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Goodies In One Apartment
"The Apartment" is a great drama release from 1960 starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. It rightfully won five Oscars, including Best Picture. Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2004 by David Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
I first saw The Apartment on TCM and I thought it was fantastic. It is a dramatic movie with some witty dialogue and is about a man named C.C. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2003 by Thebookwoman
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars...Film-Wise....4 Stars...DVD-Wise
This review refers to the DVD edtion(MGM) of "The Apartment"
This 1960 winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1960,touched our hearts and made us smile 43... Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2003 by L. Shirley
5.0 out of 5 stars "In the midnight of the soul...."
When I first saw this film in 1960, I missed almost all of its darker themes and their serious implications. Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2003 by Robert Morris
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