The Apartment (1960)

theapartment_1960_poster
The Apartment (1960)
  • Time: 125 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Director: Billy Wilder
  • Cast: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray

Storyline:

The Apartment came out shortly after the success of ‘Some Like it Hot’ from director Billy Wilder and thus making it the most successful films of the year. Full of trivialities this comedy is a harsh critic of coporate world and the American way of life. Bud Baxter is a struggling clerk in a huge New York insurance company. He’s discovered a quick way to climb the corporate ladder – by lending out his apartment to the executives as a place to take their mistresses. He often has to deal with the aftermath of their visits and one night he’s left with a major problem to solve.

One review

  • C.C. Baxter, also known as Bud is a bachelor in his thirties.
    He works for a big insurance company in New York and tries to be promoted by letting his superiors use his apartment for ‘romantic indiscretions’.
    So Bud stays late at work or wanders in the city by himself until he can go home.
    One day Bud meets Fran, an elevator operator.
    This is where the story takes a dramatic turn and it doesn’t take long before cynicism and bitterness settles in while the movie started as a comedy.

    At first C.C. seems a little bit too naive and it’s easy to feel sorry for him.
    Wilder shows that living in a big city doesn’t necessarily make it easier to find someone when you’re single, especially when you spend a lot of time at work.
    A certain loneliness and melancholy can be felt during the first part of the movie.
    But quickly the real motives of C.C. are brought to light: he’s an opportunist who uses as much his superiors as they use him.
    Infidelity is also one of the subjects treated in this movie, another theme that’s still relevant nowadays as it will be forever.
    Still, at this point ‘The Apartment’ is more a comedy than a drama because of the lighthearted tone used by Wilder.

    Bud’s encounter with Fran will dramatically change the nature of the story.
    He realizes the seriousness and consequences of his superior’s doings and the movie takes a darker tone.
    Fran is without a doubt one of the most broken female characters I have ever seen, but at the same time she’s very endearing thanks to her sweet and charming side.
    At some point I cared more about Fran than C.C., though he’s also a very likeable character, that’s something I never experienced before.

    Seeing C.C. trying to help Fran during the second part of the movie while he’s putting his reputation at risk in the process and without receiving anything in return makes us believe that no good deed goes unpunished and good guys always finish last indeed.
    In the end it is clear C.C. means well and has a good heart.

    Finally Wilder manages to find an end that will suit everyone. An end full of suspense, drama and, as surprising as it may seems, laughter.
    ‘The Apartment’ is a classic I can recommend to everyone, but especially to the hopeless romantic.

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