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.