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The Apartment (1960)

Director:
Billy Wilder
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Romance/Comedy/Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Ungkarsleiligheten
RUNNING TIME
125 minutes
Producer:
Billy Wilder
Screenwriter:
Billy Wilder
I.A.L. Diamond


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
C. C. Baxter Jack Lemmon
Fran Kubelik Shirley MacLaine
Jeff D. Sheldrake Fred MacMurray
Joe Dobisch Ray Walston
Dr. Dreyfuss Jack Kruschen
Al Kirkeby David Lewis
Mrs. Margie MacDougall Hope Holiday
Sylvia Joan Shawlee
Mrs. Mildred Dreyfuss Naomi Stevens
Karl Matuschka Johnny Seven
Blonde in the bar Joyve Jameson

 

Review

Billy Wilder's The Apartment is a neat, clever and sensitive romantic comedy about a low-level company clerk (Lemmon) who in a bid to climb the corporate ladder lends out his apartment to his execs and their mistresses, while his own love-life is limited to exchanging cordial lines with the young and perky elevator operator (MacLaine). The assured form and a bubbly Jack Lemmon makes the film instantly captivating, as we're effectively transported back to a booming New York City in the early stages of second-wave feminism. The preface is among the best ever in this genre, and even as the plot thickens and the film turns half into a screwball comedy, Wilder keeps his composure and sense of direction. For instance, the moral implications never turn into moralizing, and we get to pass our own judgements. Wilder is more interested in exploring the
mechanisms at work than evaluate them, and this ensures that the film remains relevant even today, and also makes the Sheldrake character an interesting (if somewhat anachronistic) character study. The only thing lacking here, despite superb performances by both Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, is a little more heat and spark between them. Lemmon is a sheer delight, even if his nervous babble occasionally does threaten to overdo it a little, and MacLaine's sensitive performance is ten years ahead of its time. The Apartment won five Oscars, among others for the superb set decoration. It was the final black-and-white film to win the Best Picture Oscar until The Artist in 2011.

Copyright 7.10.2014 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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