Winner of five Academy Awards in 1960, including Best Film, The Apartment is legendary writer/director Billy Wilder at his scathing, satirical best.
Insurance Clerk CC ‘Bud’ Baxter (Jack Lemmon) has found the ideal way to gain the attention and approval of his bosses is to allow four department heads to use his apartment as a perfect hideaway for their extramarital trysts.
The ambitious young employee subsequently reaps a series of undeserved promotions to a wood-panelled office on the 27th floor with a key to the executive washroom – but when he lends the key to big boss JD Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), he not only advances his career but his own love life as well.
For Sheldrake’s mistress is the lovely Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), elevator girl and angel of Bud’s dreams. Convinced that he is the only man for Fran, Bud must make the most important executive decision of his career – lose the girl or his job.
A controversial comedy when it was made, The Apartment is also brightly funny and deliciously cynical. Partly because it relies on a suicide attempt to make its point about how human beings should be treated, it’s also poignant.
Quite probably the template for all modern Hollywood romantic comedies.
CC “Bud” Baxter
Frances Weintraub Lax