Tuesday, 20 November 2012

the apartment (1960) - billy wilder

The Apartment is one of the great Billy Wilder screwball comedies starring Jack Lemmon, and was the follow up to Wilder's  'Some Like It Hot'.  Lemmon plays C.C Baxter, a company drone who falls for Fran Kubelik, the girl operating the lift in his workplace, played by Shirley MacClaine.  Baxter is also being put upon and used by his superiors, as his apartment is conveniently located for affairs to take place.  They pressure him to vacate it in the evenings so they can use it behind their wives backs, and although Baxter is diligent and hard working, he gains promotion due to his apartment's availability.  However, unbeknown to him, his boss, Mr Sheldrake,  is using it to see Miss Kubelik, who is his mistress.  Baxter discovers the truth and Kubelik realises that Sheldrake is just stringing her along, resulting in her taking an overdose in Baxter's apartment.  Luckily for all concerned, she is found by Baxter, bought round by the neighbouring Doctor, and then has to recuperate in the apartment with Baxter looking after her (it's based around Christmas time).  From then on it's a guessing game so see if they will fall for each other and find true love (of course they will).  Both MacLaine and Lemmon are excellent in their roles, and it must have been tough for MacLaine to follow Marilyn Monroe (the love interest in 'Some Like It Hot'), but she manages to achieve it while also being completely different from her in every way.  A classic.

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