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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I love you, Miss Kubelik."
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...
Published on 9 Oct 2006 by Kona

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1 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor !
Think I've been put on the wrong planet!

Just got a lend of this off a neighbour and wasted two hours of my life! Can anybody quote me one funny line out of this supposed "Comedy" ???

The doctor in trying to revive Shirley McClaine slaps her about and then pours scalding hot coffee down her gullet while she's unconscious!, maybe that was the comedy...
Published on 13 Nov 2011 by Beedee


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I love you, Miss Kubelik.", 9 Oct 2006
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Apartment [DVD] (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
5.0 out of 5 stars You can almost smell the evocative smell of the pasta..., 29 May 2007
By 
Hiro "Tokyoite" (West Hampstead, London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Apartment [DVD] (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Wilder Comic Genius, 6 Sep 2007
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This review is from: The Apartment [DVD] (DVD)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic 1960s Love-Tangle Comedy-Drama, 10 Mar 2008
This review is from: The Apartment [DVD] (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Apartment [1960] [Blu-ray], 26 Oct 2013
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The Apartment [1960] [Blu-ray] Winner of five 1960 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture,* The Apartment is legendary director Billy Wilder at his most scathing and satirical best. With audio commentary from film producer and AFI member Bruce Block and two documentaries – including a loving tribute to actor Jack Lemmon.

C.C. Baxter [Jack Lemmon] knows the way to success in business...it’s through the door of his apartment. By providing a perfect hideaway for philandering bosses, the ambitious young employee reaps a series of undeserved promotions. But when Bud lends the key to big boss J.D. 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.

FILM FACT: ‘The Apartment’ received 10 Academy Award nominations and won 5 Academy Awards at the 1960 33rd Academy Awards Oscars® and they were: Best Picture [Billy Wilder]; Best Director [Billy Wilder]; Best Writing (Original Screenplay) [Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond]; Best Film Editing [Daniel Mandell]; Best Art Direction, Set Directing [Black and White] [Alexandre Trauner and Edward G. Boyle]. The following were Nominated: Best Actor [Jack Lemmon]; Best Actress [Shirley MacLaine]; Best Supporting Actor [Jack Kruschen]; Best Cinematography (Black-and-White) [Joseph LaShelle]; Best Sound [Gordon E. Sawyer]

Cast: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, David Lewis, Hope Holiday, Joan Shawlee, Naomi Stevens, Johnny Seven, Joyce Jameson, Hal Smith, Willard Waterman, David White and Edie Adams

Director: Billy Wilder

Producer: Billy Wilder

Screenwriters: Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond

Composer: Adolph Deutsch

Cinematography: Joseph LaShelle

Resolution: 1080p [Black and White]

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 [Anamorphic]

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English: 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH

Running Time: 120 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – Getting ahead in life can be rather difficult. With the business world seemingly rigged, many desperate individuals will try just about anything to catch a break or find a leg up, leading to some pretty creative strategies. The protagonist of Billy Wilder's 'The Apartment,' is one such desperate, but crafty individual, and in order to climb the professional ladder he resorts to some decidedly out-of-the-box thinking. A masterful blend of comedy and pathos, the movie presents a charming, entertaining tale of romance that isn't afraid to tread into some surprisingly dark subject matter. Led by Jack Lemmon's effortless, everyman charisma, and Shirley MacLaine's heart-breaking allure, the film easily stands the test of time, putting most, similar modern efforts to shame.

C. C. Baxter [Jack Lemmon] is a low level employee at a big insurance company who dreams of rising to the top of the corporate world. In order to make his ambitions a reality, he has devised a devious little scheme to win over the good graces of his superiors, by letting his bosses use his apartment for their various adulterous affairs. The plan works like a charm, and soon C. C. Baxter is invited to meet with the company's head honcho, Jeff D. Sheldrake [Fred MacMurray]). It turns out Sheldrake wants to utilize Baxter's unique services as well, and not wanting to pass up the potential for a big promotion, he seizes the opportunity. Unfortunately, the situation takes a dramatic turn when Baxter discovers that Sheldrake's romantic partner is none other than the building's lovable elevator attendant, Fran Kubelik [Shirley MacLaine]. After he develops feelings for Ms. Kubelik, Baxter begins to rethink his strategies, and must ultimately choose between business and love.

The true genius of the film revolves around its perfect mixture of comedy and drama. The main plot features a delightfully subversive sense of humour that presents a cynical satire on corporate America. Highly influenced by the great Ernst Lubitsch, Wilder gives his characters playful, unique personalities and biting, memorable lines of dialogue. In sharp contrast to many modern comedies, the humour is given time to develop and breath, with Wilder often lingering on shots, letting Lemmon draw out and build extra bits of amusement. While all of the comedy works brilliantly throughout, the movie actually takes a very dark turn at its half way point, and somehow Wilder is able to balance the tones without skipping a beat. In fact, not only does the drama not end up clashing with the comedy, it actually turns out to be incredibly effective and powerful. A certain downtrodden malaise casts over the second half, showering the proceedings in a sobering mist that draws some very realistic characterizations while still maintaining an ultimately life affirming charm. It's a truly remarkable juggling act, and Wilder makes it all seem so easy.

One particular scene becomes a great example of the movie's oscillating, but perfectly harmonious tones. At an office Christmas party, Ms. Kubelik is given some bad news about her precarious relationship with Sheldrake. Depressed and somber, she runs into Baxter who enthusiastically shows her his brand new office. Baxter carries on, trying on a silly hat with a playful smile while acting like a giddy fool. All the while, Kubelik continues to wallow in sadness on the complete opposite end of the emotional spectrum. The manner in which the dialogue and interactions are written and performed almost makes it seem like the characters are in two completely different movies. Jack Lemmon appears to be in a light-hearted comedy and Shirley MacLaine is clearly in a drama, but somehow they come together, and it works beautifully.

In the included special features, it's revealed that the director feared C. C. Baxter might prove unlikeable to audiences, but honestly I'm not really sure what Billy Wilder was worried about. It's nearly impossible for Jack Lemmon to seem unlikeable, and as C. C. Baxter the actor absolutely wins over viewers. The character is a classic lovable loser, a lonely "schnook" with a good heart that makes some poor decisions. Jack Lemmon plays up all the right comedic and dramatic beats, and demonstrates a great talent for physical comedy. As memorable as the actor is, Shirley MacLaine might actually be the real scene stealer. Her performance as Fran Kubelik is irresistible and touching. Her sadness is palpable, and Shirley MacLaine underplays the emotions with heart-breaking restraint, revealing devastating bits of anger and sorrow through simple glances and fleeting lines of dialogue. The pair has incredible chemistry and make for one of cinemas most lovable on screen couples.

Billy Wilder injects a surprisingly strong visual style into the proceedings. Opting for a wide, 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the director often uses the full scope of the frame. Character placement and blocking take advantage of the added space, enhancing bits of drama and comedy. There is a great economy of shots on display as well, with the director choosing to cut to new angles only when functionally necessary or dramatically important. Many scenes feature relatively long takes with wide masters. The film is home to stark, noir influenced lighting, which helps to set it apart from typical comedies, bolstering the narrative's unique blend of tones. Production design is also top notch, with some inventive forced perspective set construction used to exaggerate the business world's dehumanizing grip. In addition, the apartment itself takes on a life of its own, becoming a cosy retreat from the movie's harsh corporate environment.

'The Apartment' is a true classic, a perfectly balanced masterpiece that celebrates love's joys and heartaches with wit and insight. The film has inspired many imitators and has become the prototypical romantic dramedy that all subsequent releases aspire to be. Truly ahead of its time, the movie actually feels fresher today than the majority of its numerous modern copycats. Through the story of lonely C.C. Baxter, Billy Wilder tells the tale of a simple "schnook" who learns how to be a real "mensch," illuminating all of the cynical and heart-warming realities of life along the way.

Blu-ray Video Quality – The film is provided with a stunning black and white 1080p transfer in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Authentic to the filmmakers' intentions, this is a wonderful, nicely preserved transfer.

The print is in fantastic shape, but there are some very minor specks here and there (mostly in the opening shots). A light layer of grain is visible throughout giving the image a pleasing, natural filmic quality. Clarity is good, revealing all of the little, painstaking production details. Wilder utilizes the widescreen frame to its full advantage, and the transfer does a nice job of showcasing his understated, economical, but still artful compositions with nice instances of depth. With that said, wide shots do look a tad soft. Contrast is nice and high, featuring bright whites that pop and deep, inky blacks that really show off the film's noir influenced lighting design. Some very mild edge enhancement pops up in a few scenes, but doesn't hurt the presentation. 'The Apartment' shines nicely on Blu-ray in a faithful, consistent transfer. With very little signs of damage or age, the image carries a clean, mostly pristine look throughout that should more than please fans.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – The film is provided with an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track along with Spanish and French mono tracks. Subtitle option includes English SDH. Resisting the urge to spruce up the original mono elements too much, this is a respectful remix that does the film justice.

Dialogue is clear and full throughout with no signs of crackle or hiss. The soundstage remains faithful to the movie's mono roots but has been opened up slightly in subtle but effective ways. Speech and other effects are occasionally spread out directionally when appropriate, and soft echoes of music and ambient sounds hit the rear speakers. The wonderful score comes through with nice fidelity demonstrating pleasing range with no distortion. Low end activity is minimal, but for a movie of this type that is to be expected. Balance between all of the audio elements is handled well. While I usually prefer for mono films to retain their original track, this 5.1 remix is so subtle and unobtrusive that I didn't mind it at all. With no major signs of age or distortion, this is a very solid track.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Audio Commentary with Film Historian Bruce Block: Bruce Block provides an informative and steady discussion of the movie, rife with production trivia and facts. Various details on the film's locations, casting, schedule, production design, and visual style are all touched upon. Block also describes several scenes that were cut from the final edit and even reads a few excerpts from the original script, demonstrating how close the finished product stays to the writers' detailed descriptions. Some background information on Billy Wilder is thrown in, including talk about his love for Ernst Lubitsch films and their heavy influence on his work. Though Block does repeat himself a bit throughout, this is a pretty strong commentary that fans should definitely check out.

Inside The Apartment [30:00] This is an interesting look back at the film's production, featuring interviews with some of the cast and crew. Billy Wilder's path to Hollywood is discussed along with details on the inspirations for the movie's risqué subject matter. Participants touch upon the film's innovative mixture of tones and share various anecdotes from the set.

Magic Time: The Art of Jack Lemmon [13:00] Here the focus is on actor Jack Lemmon. Interviews with his son (who looks and sounds a lot like him) and biographer are included, sharing lots of details on his life and approach to acting.

Theatrical Trailer [2:00] [1080p] The Theatrical Trailer is included.

Finally, 'The Apartment' is a genuine masterpiece, a rare film that perfectly marries humour and drama into a beautifully insightful and entertaining package. By blending sombre pathos, biting satire, and light-hearted charm, Billy Wilder ends up with a truly unique piece of cinema that was way ahead of its time. The video transfer is strong, remaining faithful to the filmmaker's intentions, and though it's a mostly unnecessary remix, the new 5.1 track does the movie justice. The special features aren't exactly mind blowing, but the commentary and documentary are a very welcomed inclusion. Basically, this is a stunning wonderful Blu-ray disc for a really special beautiful classic Billy Wilder film, who is one my all-time favourite Directors, who has never made a duff film in my opinion and is so sad this wonderful person is not around anymore to make more brilliant films, as Billy Wilder scripts are so poignant and character drive and it is so wonderful to add this to my ever increasing Billy Wilder Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the DVD, 26 July 2013
By 
G. L. Craig - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars That's the way it crumbles, cookywise!, 13 Dec 2006
By 
Sverdlov "Jokerman" (Cromer, Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Apartment [DVD] (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully-written screenplaywise, 20 Dec 2013
By 
William Cohen (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Apartment [DVD] (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great art can be great entertainment in right hands, 7 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Apartment [DVD] (DVD)
realist art can entertain
billy wilder looKs from the claustrophobia of office compartments and single bedroom apartments at the social and sexual reality of new york and creates a natural,real yet engaging look at human life with cheating husbands,exploited women and wicked executives .

the catchphrase is anything goes as long as you succeed ,if it takes you up the corporate ladder by indulging in out of office extra-curricular activities .

the metropolitan bar scene and office parties are staged with a genuine touch and the milieu created is real and dark,yet filled with humour and high drama .

wilder has demonstrated a talented maker can make a really engaging movie about real people and this piece shows his immense talent with ordinary everyday themes and average people ,neither lemmon or maclaine are sex symbols but they portray the casual with little gestures and body language with genius that elevates a realist story to immense dramatic heights ,the music is simple and the centre-point is the minutely defined characters and their common lives .

This is called art and realism combined to attain great cinema .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The extras are worth having, too, 21 Nov 2013
No need for me to repeat what others have said about this great film. I just want to draw attention to the extras on the disc, especially the commentary by Bruce Block. Unless you're familiar with the new process, i.e. no menu, they are well hidden. Thinking there was something wrong with the disc, I asked the supplier how to access them and he said to press "Title/Popup" on the remote control, when the film has started. The commentary gives a lot of information, including an insight into film production - things most of us have never noticed or thought about.
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The Apartment [DVD]
The Apartment [DVD] by Billy Wilder (DVD - 2001)
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