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45 of 45 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 65 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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45 of 45 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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18 of 18 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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wilder Comic Genius, 6 Sept. 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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5 of 5 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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5 of 5 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 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FAVOURITE, 31 Dec. 2011
By 
WSH (NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Apartment [DVD] (DVD)
Billy Wilder turns a limpid eye upon the swinging sixties (right there at the beginning) in New York -- cheating husbands and hardbitten good-time girls ('the takers'); hopeful lovers and buddy boys ('those who get took') -- and from out of this mire lifts up two memorable, redeeming characters, played to perfection by Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon, at the height of their powers. As you would expect with something written for the screen by Wilder and his associate I.A.L.Diamond, the story moves through a perfect arc of comic situation, misunderstandings, misdirected desires, thwarted hopes, and on to a believable resolution that draws these elements along with it but trumps them all. The dialogue is witty, and the comedy is as broad as the satire is cutting -- one never dominates or displaces the other; we laugh and we sigh at once. There are one or two lacunae in the action -- coffee that should scald; old cooked spaghetti that should no longer be limp -- but to focus on these, and ignore the much that is real and effective, would be a terrible mistake. The scenes of Miss Kubelik and Mr Baxter alone together are quite wonderful. 'I was Robinson Crusoe,' Baxter tells her at one point, 'shipwrecked among eight million people, till I saw a footprint in the sand and looked up to find you.' Among a million films, I would suggest, this one will leave a lasting imprint on you.
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5 of 5 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of Hollywood's Very Best, Tragi-Comedy-wise, 9 April 2013
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Apartment [DVD] (DVD)
I should admit up front that this 1960 masterpiece (co-written and) directed by one of Hollywood's greatest ever directors, Billy Wilder, is one of my favourite ever films (top 10 certainly). It is a virtually flawless two hour master class by virtue of its razor sharp script (which Wilder co-wrote with regular collaborator I.A.L Diamond), superbly designed set-pieces (Wilder being assisted here by the legendary artistic director Alexandre Trauner), the film's grandiose and lush musical theme (courtesy of composer Adolph Deutsch) and the film's consistently high quality cast, but showcasing another bravura central performance from Jack Lemmon (in my book, one of the finest actors ever to have graced the cinema screen). What is perhaps a little surprising about The Apartment is that its tale of serial infidelity, as Lemmon's insurance office worker C.C Baxter 'loans out' his apartment to his (married male) co-workers for their illicit night-time affairs, is that its apparently lax moral standards caused it to be very controversial at the time of release (even to the extent of Fred MacMurray, who stars as serial philanderer, and Baxter's boss, Jeff Sheldrake, reputedly being accosted by women in the street!).

As CC Baxter, Lemmon's performance is simply brilliant, a mix of tragedy and comedy (for me) unsurpassed on the screen, as his mundane job is brought home, courtesy of Baxter's nuanced voiceover and cinematographer Joseph LaShelle's camera, as it pans across the 31,259 Consolidated Life employees operating (by rote) their archaic adding machines. Wilder evokes the era of embryonic modern consumerism superbly as Baxter sits in front of his TV screen, TV dinner on his lap, primitive remote control by his side as he switches between channels attempting to avoid the ad breaks ('words from our sponsor'). A young Shirley MacLaine is also outstanding as the increasingly emotionally distraught, loser in love ('The first time I was ever kissed I was in a cemetery') and lift operator, Fran Kubelik, as is MacMurray as the (misjudged) love of her life, the duplicitous, uncaring and married Head of Personnel, Sheldrake.

But it is not only the major stars that excel in The Apartment, Wilder has peppered the film with many other great character performances. The loanees for Baxter's flat, Messrs. Dobisch, Kirkeby, Vanderhoff and Eichelberger are all excellent as is Edie Adams, playing Sheldrake's nosey and scheming old flame of a secretary, Miss Olsen. Similarly, Wilder evokes his own Jewish roots via the casting of Baxter's neighbours, Dr Dreyfus, his wife Mildred and landlady Mrs Lieberman (Jack Kruschen, Naomi Stevens and Frances Lax, respectively), whilst Hope Holiday's delivery of Baxter's co-Christmas night loner, Margie MacDougall, is nearly a film-stealer (the scene where the two sit side by side, in drunken stupors, staring into the camera is a standout moment).

The film really is a constant stream of great set-piece sequences, my favourites of which would (in addition to the aforementioned) include: cold-ridden Baxter trying to rearrange his apartment bookings, Baxter's realisation that Sheldrake also wishes to use his 'facility'; Baxter trying on his 'junior executive model' bowler hat; Baxter noticing Fran's broken compact mirror; Baxter's confrontation with Fran's brother-in-law and Baxter and Sheldrake's final exchange ('I've decided to become a mensch, you know what that means? A human being').

The Apartment is another (and arguably the best) example of Lemmon's consummate acting skills whether these be delivered in his great comic roles (Some Like It Hot, The Odd Couple, The Front Page, etc) or his (often rather under-rated) 'serious' turns (Mister Roberts, Save The Tiger, Glengarry Glen Ross, Missing, Short Cuts, etc).

For me, one of the all-time greats.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack Lemmon is great, but ..., 21 Jun. 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Apartment [DVD] (DVD)
Jack Lemmon was a wonderful actor and in a sense everything he appeared in is a kind of priceless legacy - he really was one of the most likeable and human actors to achieve stardom of that generation. However I do have problems with other aspects of the film. Firstly, I don't like the way Miss Kubelik attempts suicide over someone so worthless, and the way the film doesn't seem to question her sanity. It is more seen as one of the bitter ironies of life that she loves this man rather than the lovable but lowly Jack Lemmon character, but ultimately it is rather debasing to allow oneself to be brought to a pitch of despair over someone like this boss. And it is not the only example of it in films of the period: Letter From An Unknown Woman indulges in a similar absurdity, as do The Third Man and Rebecca, yet it really needs examining why we are prepared to go with something that is unworthy of these women, or anyone.

My other problem is with the presentation of men and what is construed as attractive. As a result of the Hays code only women were allowed to be presented as desirable physically, and this within prescribed limits, of course. The men in all the films I've mentioned have an allure of glamour that comes from their wealth, or their self-importance (masquerading as authority in their field), but one thing they are not is sexually attractive. The implication is that women are not interested in this, and so it remained until feminism claimed the right for women to have sexual desires of their own in the 60s. The women of the 40s and 50s were presented as having bodies, however, and the hourglass physique was pushed about as much as it could be. Shirley MacLaine in this film does not really come into this category, but my point remains with regard to the men, particularly the ones deemed to be attractive. It is such a limitation on life to see things this way, and there are plenty of people today who would very happily go back to that, especially men who want to control things and who aren't at all interested in other men's bodies. However the denial of male beauty and subjugation of women sort of go together, I think, and that is why gay rights and feminism really have a lot in common. Thank goodness for the 60s and 70s that liberated these things, and let's make sure we never go back to these rigid and unappealing gender politics, because sometimes it feels as if the pendulum is swinging the other way ...

Another good point about this film is the way it focuses on the world of work - something which is generally rather underplayed in cinema.
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The Apartment [DVD]
The Apartment [DVD] by Billy Wilder (DVD - 2001)
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