THE APARTMENT

USA

1960

C.C.Baxter: Jack Lemmon

Fran Kubelik: Shirley MacLaine

J.D. Sheldrake: Fred MacMurray

Dobisch: Ray Walston

Kirkeby: David Lewis

Dr Dreyfuss: Jack Kruschen

Sylvia: Joan Shawlee

Miss Olsen: Edie Adams

Margie MacDougall: Hope Holiday

Karl Matuschka: Johnny Seven

Mrs Dreyfuss: Naomi Stevens

Mrs Lieberman: Frances Weintraub Lax

Director/Producer: Billy Wilder

Production co: Mirisch Company

Screenplay: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond

Cinematography: Joseph LaShelle

Editor: Daniel Mandell

Sound: Fred Lau

Music: Adolph Deutsch

125 mins

35mm/Black & White

 

Synopsis

 

C.C. Baxter, a lonely, ambitious clerk in a large New York insurance company, lives in a convenient but antiquated apartment, which has become a trysting place for four of his firm’s married executives and their girl friends. The philanderers write glowing accounts of his ability, and these reports soon reach the desk of head of personal, J.D. Sheldrake. After expressing his confidence to Baxter that he is likely executive material, Sheldrake goes on to ask for the key to the apartment. In return, Baxter is promoted eight floors to a wood-panelled office with a key to the executive wash-room. But when he falls in love with Fran Kubelik, a trusting elevator operator, he discovers that he has outsmarted himself: the girl that Sheldrake takes to the apartment is none other than Fran, the girl Baxter himself hoped might share his ill-gotten gains. Disillusioned, he picks up another woman and takes her to the apartment, only to find Fran unconscious on the bed following an overdose of sleeping pills. Realising that Sheldrake has no intention of divorcing his wife to marry her, Fran has attempted suicide. Baxter knocks up the doctor next door, helps bring Fran round, keeps her in his apartment throughout the next day and falls in love with her all over again. On his return to the office, Baxter turns in his job in exchange for peace of mind. His sacrifice wins him Fran’s love, and they decide to make a fresh start together.

 

Press Materials

 

“Diamond-sharp satire with a brilliant performance from Lemmon as the insurance clerk who forges ahead in the rat race by lending his apartment out to philandering senior executives, only to outsmart himself when the girl of his dreams is brought there by his boss. Full of sly bits of business (MacLaine admitting to three affairs but betrayed by fingers unconsciously announcing four), and with its jaundiced vision leavened by a tender sympathy for the frailty of human motives. Even the cop-out ending (boy forgives girl and all’s well) is rather moving, given the delicate skill with which Lemmon and MacLaine commute between comedy and pathos” — Tom Milne, Time Out

 

“Classic Billy Wilder comedy-drama about a put-upon insurance clerk who rises through the ranks by loaning out his apartment as a trysting-place for his philandering superiors. When one of them callously casts off his elevator girl-mistress, causing her to attempt suicide, the clerk lovingly nurses her back to health.

 

“A barbed and occasionally brutal comedy with few illusions about personal or corporate ethics, The Apartment captured one of the singular images of