“The Apartment” Review ✦✦✦✦✦

12 December, 2017

Year of Release: 1960
Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond
Director of Photography: 
Joseph LaShelle
Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray

Synopsis: An insurance man working in a high-rise office building finds himself closer to a promotion after allowing his superiors to use his apartment to entertain their mistresses. Things soon become complicated, however, after he falls for a beautiful elevator operator who’s tangled in a love affair with the company director.

The Apartment Review:

An ode to the good guy written with truly ravishing intentions, “The Apartment” is the kind of Hollywood classic that never loses its touch, working its way down the generations with a heartfelt tale of unassuming meekness where the only nice guy in a city of big-heads becomes tangled up in a wacky romance. A film of small details, easy to miss but essential to its mood, the movie plays gin rummy and tips its bowler hat, straining spaghetti with a tennis racket and shaving without a razor blade in a series of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments that merge into a delightful whole.

A doormat employee with a gigantic heart, C.C. Baxter finds his good-naturedness abused by a stack of men on the upper level, all of whom live adulterous lives outside of the stuffy office environment and are more than willing to blackmail a colleague into submission. Ironically single and misrepresented due to a series of unfortunate mix-ups, Baxter is the ‘buddy boy’ to a handful of egotists, ending up in rather a pickle as the go-to-guy with an empty room and a people-pleasing attitude. Hopelessly loveable but easily trampled on, Jack Lemmon oozes warmth and modesty in an unassuming role, epitomising a true New York gentlemen without ever having to assert himself.

Risqué and unrestrained in its presentation of sex, workplace synergy, and suicide, “The Apartment” is both quick-witted and switched-on, an old-school but ageless classic with a swooning score and light-as-a-feather screenplay. Escapist bliss made for a cosy night in, the movie hides a deeply charming love story under layers of hilarious satire, combing the efforts of genuine Hollywood talents with those of a filmmaker at the peak of his career. The right way to feel during the winter season, “The Apartment” is an unmissable watch with a festive backdrop, a film that knows how to charm audiences with even the most sceptical views on classical romance, rendering everything that came before it inferior without ever disrespecting the conventions of its era.


Review Date
The Apartment