The Apartment (1960) – Simply Wonderful

Rating (5 out of 5)

Summary: Maybe, it the wonderfully classic Paramount in Austin, Texas, where I viewed “The Apartment.” Maybe, it was jubilation of watching a movie with my wee son again. Maybe, this is simply a great film. Either way, my evening watching “The Apartment” was fantastic.

Jack Lemmon is superb in the lead role, and his facial gestures communicate a thousand words. His character was funny without overwhelming the screen, like Jim Carrey often does. Every time I noticed the film slow down a bit, the movie picked up the pace again. Fantastic job by writer, director and producer Billy Wilder to keep the tempo of the film up. This ruins my theory of one person in all three roles spells disasters.

I would enthusiastically recommend this film to those who love a delightful romantic comedy or a masterly written film.

Plot: C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) allows executives use his apartment for the extramarital rendezvous, as a means to get a ahead. As he climbs the ladder, he falls for Fran (Shirley MacLaine), but she is already in a relationship with one of the executives.

Detail: The script was excellent. They kept using lines that characters had said in previous scenes. The reuse kept the movie light and upbeat, but also established a connection between characters. For example, C.C. says, “That’s the way it crumbles… cookie-wise.” then 10 or 20 minutes later in the film, Fran uses that same line back to him. It was humorous, but also establishes an intimacy between the two characters.

Again to the quality of the script, the next door neighbors were perfect. Nosey enough they listen into C.C.’s apart and they develop the wrong idea of his lifestyle. Different to movies today, the next door neighbors are concerned for him. When the next door neighbor happens to be a doctor, when it is necessitated, it didn’t feel contrived. The assembly of it all is truly artful writing.

I can’t say enough about the actors themselves. Jack Lemmon is fantastic, as I mentioned above. Shirley MacLaine is wonderful. She lights up the screen. The supporting cast was superb as well, especially Fred MacMurray as the slimy philandering executive. Even the next door neighbors were perfect cast.

SPOILER!! Utilmately, C.C. follows his heart rather than finish his climb up the corporate ladder, which was to me a huge statement in 1960. But the statement is said without slamming you across the face, even though you wanted to cheer out loud for Baxter.

Finally, what a great timepiece to see how the world has changed. Rotary phones, elevator operators, Rolodexes, the calculator that takes up the entire desk, small tennis rackets, the heated blanket, the tv remote. The whole movie was a hoot.

Really, carve out a slice your day to watch this academy award winning film.