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The Apartment


Year: 1960 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: Unknown 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Billy Wilder 
Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray  
An image from The Apartment

The Apartment

One of many Billy Wilder’s masterpieces, The Apartment carries the audience back to the 60s with the aid of Adolf Deutsch’s jazzy melancholic soundtrack and the outstanding performances by Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine as C. C. Baxter and Fran Kubelik, the two starry-eyed lovers of Wilder’s sentimental tale.

Baxter is a passive, acquiescent young man with big ambitions, yet stuck at the desk number 861 on the 19th floor of an insurance company, in between rows and rows of identical desks, with people fulfilling the same duties.

In this alienating and dehumanizing environment Baxter aspires to stand out from the anonymous mass and reach the higher floors of the building, obtaining the key to the executives’ washroom. To achieve his aspirations, Baxter lends his apartment to married colleagues in higher positions for them to use as a place where to take girls at night, obtaining in turn the recommendations he needs to advance his career. However, in the same elevator he takes every morning to get to his designated floor, he meets Fran, the elevator girl with which he inevitably falls in love.

With an Academy Award for best picture, director, original screenplay, art direction and editing, The Apartment asserts itself as one the most enchanting, light-hearted films on the humanity of love in a world revolving around wealth and public image. Because that’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise.

Marta Meazza

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Screenings of this film:

1974/1975 Spring Term (16mm)
2016/2017 Spring Term (35mm)