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The Apartment [DVD]


Price: £4.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen
  • Directors: Billy Wilder
  • Writers: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond
  • Producers: Billy Wilder, Doane Harrison, I.A.L. Diamond
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Nov 2001
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Q61O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,657 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Billy Wilder embraces both sentiment and cynicism in this superb comedy-drama, set in New York City, that chronicles the trials of a young ambitious insurance clerk

From Amazon.co.uk

Romance at its most anti-romantic--that is the Billy Wilder stamp of genius, and this Best Picture Academy Award winner from 1960 is no exception. Set in a decidedly unsavoury world of corporate climbing and philandering, the great filmmaker's trenchant, witty satire-melodrama takes the office politics of a corporation and plays them out in the apartment of lonely clerk CC Baxter (Jack Lemmon). By lending out his digs to the higher-ups for nightly extramarital flings with their secretaries, Baxter has managed to ascend the business ladder faster than even he imagined. The story turns even uglier, though, when Baxter's crush on the building's melancholy elevator operator (Shirley MacLaine) runs up against her long-standing affair with the big boss (a superbly smarmy Fred MacMurray). The situation comes to a head when she tries to commit suicide in Baxter's apartment. Not the happiest or cleanest of scenarios, and one that earned the famously caustic and cynically humoured Wilder his share of outraged responses, but looking at it now, it is a funny, startlingly clear-eyed vision of urban emptiness and is unfailingly understanding of the crazy decisions our hearts sometimes make. Lemmon and MacLaine are ideally matched and while everyone cites Wilder's Some Like It Hot closing line "Nobody's perfect" as his best, MacLaine's no-nonsense final words--"Shut up and deal"--are every bit as memorable. Wilder won three Oscars for The Apartment, for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay (cowritten with long-time collaborator I A L Diamond). --Robert Abele --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Oct 2006
Format: DVD
Buddy Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is a meek and mild nobody in a big company who has an "arrangement" with his superiors: They can use his apartment to entertain their ladyfriends in exchange for recommendations for his promotion. The deal works out fine, until he discovers that his big boss (Fred MacMurray)'s girlfriend is the object of his own affection, elevator operator Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine).

It's a quiet, character-driven comedy about shady dealings in the world of big business, with just enough touching dramatic scenes to tug at your heart. "The Apartment" won the 1960 Best Picture Oscar, thanks to the excellent cast and honest script. Nobody played the Everyman character as well as Lemmon. He's involved in an unsavory situation, but is so sweet, likeable, and noble that you really care about him. MacLaine gives an uncharacteristically subdued and thoughtful performance, and MacMurray is perfect as her philandering paramour. The beautiful title tune is one of the loveliest movie love themes ever. The subject matter was considered somewhat racy back then, but now it would probably be rated PG today. Clever, sweet, and entertaining movie.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Hiro on 29 May 2007
Format: DVD
Am not talking about Delia Smith... I watched this film when I was 12, and still love it.

The scenes were meant to be very cool and modern at the time the work was released, And, 37 years later on, amazingly, the film still is as just cool and modern, and the film now also has the air of romantic nostalgia.

Jack Lemmon is a great actor. He acts a meek young man in this film - a bit like a male Bridget Jones in 1960s, dare I say. But his acting is superb. Watch the short scene when he makes spaghetti with meat balls (very American). Even though this film is monochrome, you can almost smell the evocative smell of the pasta he is making.

This one is to be watched around Christmas with someone you love on a sofa in a warm room - not that I have done this yet...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By PJC on 6 Sep 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The comic genius of Billy Wilder was never better illustrated than by this bitter sweet romantic comedy. It's focus ranges from the general with its' seering indictment of the corporate world to the particular and a wonderful exploration of the central characters's lives in the persons of Lemmon, MacLaine and MacMurray.

Lemmon's performance as the central "everyman" or John Doe character caught between career enhancement and love, is superb. MacLaine provides a wonderfully tragic heroine and McMurray is immoral corporate America personified.

Laughter freely mingles with tears as Lemmon struggles to assert his identity against a rising tide of corruption and infidelity. It's warm, it's funny, it's wonderfully evocative but most of all it makes you consider the ethics of the corporate world and their impact on society at large.

An all together superior romantic comedy
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Laurence Williams on 10 Mar 2008
Format: DVD
This is a classic film from the 1960s which deservedly won 5 Oscars (including Best Picture, Director and Screenplay ALL for Billy Wilder).

It is essentially a love comedy, but still manages to include some sinister undertones, to create a very entertaining story about a man attracted to another employee at the insurance company where he works, but where she is already involved with another man....

The lead actors, Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, beautifully portray their characters with verve and great emotion and there are several other contributors who add to the overall impact of the film.

Of course, the most influence factor is that of Wilder, who moves the plot along at a perfect pace and injects many moments of pure dramatic and comedic brilliance, courtesy of a faultless screenplay.

This DVD has an excellent picture quality, with only the occasional blemish appearing, and a clear soundtrack.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. L. Craig on 26 July 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I though the DVD quality of this classic was not bad till I saw this. As a Blu-ray website review says, the picture has been well cleaned up and the sound improved. What does show up in the greater detail of Blu-ray is the fine grain of the film print. Looking back at my old copy, this seemed to have caused havoc with the DVD encoding. There were odd artefacts, especially on horizontals. This is fixed by this Blu-ray release in a much cleaner, more stable picture. The other bonus is that this disc has decent extras that the DVD does not. I haven't listened to the commentary yet, but the two documentaries are good. The only thing is that the film auto plays and I had to search about on my Panasonic player to find the extras (on a pop-up menu).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sverdlov on 13 Dec 2006
Format: DVD
Great great romantic comedy, at once warming and cynical, sharply observed - Wilder indeed at his best. MacLaine is wonderful, Lemmon superb. Be a mensch! is the message - relevant now as then.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Cohen VINE VOICE on 20 Dec 2013
Format: DVD
What struck me about this film was the number of raw emotions exposed in this 'comedy'. The characters reveal a lot of loneliness and pain. The bachelor, the lift attendant and the secretary all nurse disappointments. The presentation of the corporate workplace is superb - I worked for a law firm in the 1990s and it was very familiar. You see people in recognisable situations: watching the clock, shaving, making spaghetti, killing time waiting to get back into an apartment, getting stood up. And the small coincidences tip the plot in different directions. I found myself pausing the DVD to work out how the scriptwriters were going to get through the next five minutes.

The scenario of a man allowing other men to use his room was excellent, because you couldn't quite understand how it worked, but you were intrigued. It was louche and rather shocking. The film is a 'picture' of life in a certain place at a certain time. It shows great sympathy for what people have to go through, and how difficult it is to find love in dark places.
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