|Directed by||Billy Wilder|
|Produced by||Billy Wilder|
|Edited by||Daniel Mandell|
|Music by||Adolph Deutsch|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Box office||$24.6 million|
The Apartment is a 1960 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and produced by Billy Wilder from a screenplay he co-wrote with I. A. L. Diamond. It stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, David Lewis, Willard Waterman, David White, Hope Holiday and Edie Adams.
The story follows C.C. "Bud" Baxter (Lemmon), an insurance clerk who, in the hope of climbing the corporate ladder, lets more senior coworkers use his Upper West Side apartment to conduct extramarital affairs. Bud is attracted to an elevator operator in his office building, Fran Kubelik (MacLaine). He does not know she is having an affair with his immediate boss, Sheldrake (MacMurray).
The Apartment was distributed by United Artists to critical and commercial success, despite controversy owing to its subject matter. It became the 8th highest grossing film of 1960. At the 33rd Academy Awards, the film was nominated for ten awards, and won five, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Lemmon, MacLaine and Kruschen were Oscar-nominated. Lemmon and MacLaine won Golden Globe Awards for their performances. It provided the basis for Promises, Promises , a 1968 Broadway musical by Burt Bacharach, Hal David and Neil Simon.
In the years since its release, The Apartment has come to be regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, appearing in lists by the American Film Institute and Sight and Sound magazine. In 1994, it was one of the 25 films selected for inclusion to the United States Library of Congress National Film Registry.
C.C. "Bud" Baxter is a lonely office drudge at an insurance corporation in New York City. To climb the corporate ladder, he allows four company managers to take turns regularly borrowing his Upper West Side apartment for their extramarital liaisons. Bud meticulously juggles the "booking" schedule, but the steady stream of women in and out convinces his neighbors that he is a playboy, bringing home someone else every night.
Bud solicits glowing performance reviews from the four managers and submits them to personnel director Jeff Sheldrake, who then promises to promote him—but Sheldrake also demands use of the apartment for his own affairs, beginning that night. As compensation for this short notice, he gives Baxter two theater tickets for that evening. Bud asks his secret crush, Fran Kubelik, an elevator operator in the office building, to join him. She agrees, but first meets up with a "former fling", who turns out to be Sheldrake. When Sheldrake dissuades her from breaking up with him, promising to divorce his wife, they head to Bud's apartment, as Bud waits, stood-up, outside the theater.
Later, at the company's raucous Christmas party, Sheldrake's secretary, Miss Olsen, tells Fran that her boss has had affairs with other female employees, including herself. Later, at Bud's apartment, Fran confronts Sheldrake. He professes genuine love for her, but then takes off, heading back to his suburban family, as usual.
Bud—realizing that Fran is the woman Sheldrake has been taking to his apartment—lets himself be picked up by a married lady at a local bar. However, when they arrive at his apartment, he discovers Fran, passed out on his bed from an apparent suicidal overdose of his sleeping pills. He sends away the woman from the bar and enlists Dr. Dreyfuss, a medical doctor living in the next-door apartment, to revive Fran. Bud intentionally makes Dreyfuss believe that he was the cause of the incident. Dreyfuss scolds Bud for philandering and advises him to "be a mensch ."
While Fran spends two days recuperating in the apartment, Bud cares for her, and a bond develops between them, especially after he confesses to his own suicide attempt over unrequited feelings for a woman who now sends him a fruitcake every Christmas. During a game of gin rummy, Fran says she has always suffered bad luck in her love life. As Bud prepares a romantic dinner, one of the managers arrives for a tryst. Bud persuades him and his companion to leave, but the manager recognizes Fran and informs his colleagues. Later confronted by Fran's brother-in-law, Karl Matuschka, who is looking for her, the jealous managers direct Karl to Bud's apartment. There, Bud deflects the brother's-in-law anger over Fran's wayward behavior by once again assuming all responsibility. Karl punches him, but when Fran kisses Bud for protecting her, he just smiles and says it "didn't hurt a bit."
When Sheldrake learns that Miss Olsen tipped off Fran about his affairs, he fires her, but she retaliates by spilling all to Sheldrake's wife, who promptly throws her husband out. Sheldrake believes that this situation just makes it easier to pursue his affair with Fran. Having promoted Bud to an even higher position, which also gives him a key to the executive washroom, Sheldrake expects Bud to loan out his apartment yet again. Bud gives him back the washroom key instead, proclaiming that he has decided to become a mensch, and quits the firm.
That night at a New Year's Eve party, Sheldrake indignantly tells Fran about Bud quitting. Realizing she is in love with Bud, Fran abandons Sheldrake and runs to the apartment. At the door, she hears an apparent gunshot. Fearing that Bud has attempted suicide again, she frantically pounds on the door. Bud opens up, holding a bottle of champagne whose cork he had just popped, celebrating his plan to start anew. As the two settle down to resume their gin rummy game, Fran tells Bud that she is now free, too. When he asks about Sheldrake, she replies, "We'll send him a fruitcake every Christmas." He declares his love for her, and she replies, "Shut up and deal."
Immediately following the success of Some Like It Hot , Wilder and Diamond wished to make another film with Lemmon. Wilder had originally planned to cast Paul Douglas as Sheldrake; however, after he died unexpectedly, MacMurray was cast.
The initial concept came from Brief Encounter by Noël Coward, in which Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) meets Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard) for a thwarted tryst in his friend's apartment. However, due to the Hays Production Code, Wilder was unable to make a film about adultery in the 1940s. Wilder and Diamond also based the film partially on a Hollywood scandal in which high-powered agent Jennings Lang was shot by producer Walter Wanger for having an affair with Wanger's wife, actress Joan Bennett. During the affair, Lang used a low-level employee's apartment.Another element of the plot was based on the experience of one of Diamond's friends, who returned home after breaking up with his girlfriend to find that she had committed suicide in his bed.
Although Wilder generally required his actors to adhere exactly to the script, he allowed Lemmon to improvise in two scenes: In one scene, he squirts a bottle of nasal spray across the room, and in another, he sings while cooking spaghetti (which he strains through the grid of a tennis racket). In another scene, where Lemmon was supposed to mime being punched, he failed to move correctly, and was accidentally knocked down. Wilder chose to use the shot of the genuine punch in the film. Lemmon also caught a cold when one scene on a park bench was filmed in sub-zero weather.
Art director Alexandre Trauner used forced perspective to create the set of a large insurance company office. The set appeared to be a very long room full of desks and workers; however, successively smaller people and desks were placed to the back of the room, ending up with children. He designed the set of Baxter's apartment to appear smaller and shabbier than the spacious apartments that usually appeared in films of the day. He used items from thrift stores and even some of Wilder's own furniture for the set.
The film's title theme, written by Charles Williams and originally titled "Jealous Lover", was first heard in the 1949 film The Romantic Age .A recording by Ferrante & Teicher, released as "Theme from The Apartment", reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart later in 1960.
The film doubled its $3 million budget at the American box office in 1960.Critics were split on The Apartment. Time and Newsweek praised it, as did The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther, who called the film "gleeful, tender, and even sentimental" and Wilder's direction "ingenious". Esquire critic Dwight Macdonald gave the film a poor review, calling it "a paradigm of corny avantgardism". Others took issue with the film's controversial depictions of infidelity and adultery, with critic Hollis Alpert of the Saturday Review dismissing it as "a dirty fairy tale".
MacMurray relates that after the film's release he was accosted by women in the street who berated him for making a "dirty filthy movie", and one of them hit him with her purse.In 2001, Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert gave the film four stars out of four, and added it to his Great Movies list. The film currently holds a 94% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 66 reviews with an average rating of 8.7/10; the site's consensus states that "Director Billy Wilder's customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos."
|1960||Academy Awards||Best Motion Picture||Billy Wilder||Won|
|Best Actor||Jack Lemmon||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Shirley MacLaine||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Jack Kruschen||Nominated|
|Best Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen||Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond||Won|
|Best Art Direction – Black-and-White||Alexandre Trauner and Edward G. Boyle||Won|
|Best Cinematography – Black-and-White||Joseph LaShelle||Nominated|
|Best Film Editing||Daniel Mandell||Won|
|Best Sound||Gordon E. Sawyer||Nominated|
|1960||British Academy Film Awards||Best Film||Won|
|Best Foreign Actor||Jack Lemmon||Won|
|Best Foreign Actress||Shirley MacLaine||Won|
|1960||Cinema Writers Circle Awards||Best Foreign Film||Won|
|1960||Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Director - Motion Pictures||Billy Wilder||Won|
|1960||Golden Globe Awards||Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Won|
|Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Jack Lemmon||Won|
|Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Shirley MacLaine||Won|
|Best Director – Motion Picture||Billy Wilder||Nominated|
|1960||Grammy Awards||Best Soundtrack Album||Adolph Deutsch||Nominated|
|1960||Laurel Awards||Top Comedy||Won|
|Top Male Comedy Performance||Jack Lemmon||Won|
|Top Female Dramatic Performance||Shirley MacLaine||Won|
|1960||National Board of Review Awards||Top Ten Films||8th Place|
|1960||National Film Preservation Board||National Film Registry||Inducted|
|1960||New York Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Film||Won|
|Best Director||Billy Wilder||Won|
|Best Screenplay||Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond||Won|
|1960||Venice International Film Festival||Golden Lion||Billy Wilder||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Shirley MacLaine||Won|
|1960||Writers Guild of America Awards||Best Written American Comedy||Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond||Won|
Although Lemmon did not win the Oscar, Kevin Spacey dedicated his Oscar for American Beauty (1999) to Lemmon's performance. According to the behind-the-scenes feature on the American Beauty DVD, the film's director, Sam Mendes, had watched The Apartment (among other classic American films) as inspiration in preparation for shooting his film.
Within a few years after The Apartment's release, the routine use of black-and-white film in Hollywood ended. Since The Apartment only two black-and-white movies have won the Academy Award for Best Picture: Schindler's List (1993) and The Artist (2011).
In 1994, The Apartment was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 2002, a poll of film directors conducted by Sight and Sound magazine listed the film as the 14th greatest film of all time (tied with La Dolce Vita ).In the 2012 poll by the same magazine directors voted the film 44th greatest of all time. The film was included in "The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made" in 2002. In 2006, Premiere voted this film as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time". The Writers Guild of America ranked the film's screenplay (written by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond.) the 15th greatest ever. In 2015, The Apartment ranked 24th on BBC's "100 Greatest American Films" list, voted on by film critics from around the world. The film was selected as the 27th best comedy of all time in a poll of 253 film critics from 52 countries conducted by the BBC in 2017.
American Film Institute lists:
In 1968, Burt Bacharach, Hal David and Neil Simon created a musical adaptation titled Promises, Promises which opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre in New York City. Starring Jerry Orbach, Jill O'Hara and Edward Winter in the roles of Chuck, Fran and Sheldrake, the production closed in 1972. An all-star revival began in 2010 with Sean Hayes, Kristin Chenoweth and Tony Goldwyn as the three leads. This version added famous Bacharach/David songs "I Say a Little Prayer" and "A House Is Not a Home" to the roster.
Harold and Maude is a 1971 American coming-of-age dark comedy–drama film directed by Hal Ashby and released by Paramount Pictures. It incorporates elements of dark humor and existentialist drama. The plot revolves around the exploits of a young man in his early 20s named Harold Chasen who is intrigued with death. Harold drifts away from the life that his detached mother prescribes for him, and slowly develops a strong friendship, and eventually a romantic relationship, with a 79-year-old woman named Maude, a Nazi concentration camp survivor who teaches Harold about the importance of living life to its fullest and that life is the most precious gift of all.
John Uhler Lemmon III was an American actor. Equally proficient in both dramatic and comic roles, Lemmon was known for his anxious, middle-class everyman screen persona in dramedy pictures, leading The Guardian to coin him "the most successful tragi-comedian of his age." He was nominated for an Academy Award eight times, winning twice, and among many other accolades, including six Golden Globe Awards, three BAFTA Awards, and two Emmy Awards. In 1988, he was awarded the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the American cinema.
Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin from Jake LaMotta's 1970 memoir Raging Bull: My Story. The film, distributed by United Artists, stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, an Italian-American middleweight boxer whose self-destructive and obsessive rage, sexual jealousy, and animalistic appetite destroyed his relationship with his wife and family. Also featured in the film are Joe Pesci as Joey, LaMotta's well-intentioned brother and manager who tries to help Jake battle his inner demons, and Cathy Moriarty as his wife. Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana, and Frank Vincent all play supporting roles in the film.
Billy Wilder was an Austrian-American film director, producer and screenwriter. His career in Hollywood spanned five decades, and he is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classical Hollywood cinema.
Ninotchka is a 1939 American romantic comedy film made for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer by producer and director Ernst Lubitsch and starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas. It was written by Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, and Walter Reisch, based on a screen story by Melchior Lengyel. Ninotchka is Greta Garbo's first full comedy, her penultimate film where she received a nomination for Best Actress. It is one of the first American films which, under the cover of a satirical, light romance, depicted the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin as being rigid and gray, in this instance comparing it with the free and sunny Parisian society of pre-war years.
Double Indemnity is a 1944 American psychological thriller film noir directed by Billy Wilder, co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, and produced by Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Sistrom. The screenplay was based on James M. Cain's 1943 novel of the same title, which appeared as an eight-part serial for the Liberty magazine in February 1936.
Rear Window is a 1954 American mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by John Michael Hayes based on Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder". Originally released by Paramount Pictures, the film stars James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, and Raymond Burr. It was screened at the 1954 Venice Film Festival.
Love Me Tonight is a 1932 American pre-Code musical comedy film produced and directed by Rouben Mamoulian, with music by Rodgers and Hart. It stars Maurice Chevalier as a tailor who poses as a nobleman and Jeanette MacDonald as a princess with whom he falls in love. It also stars Charles Ruggles as a penniless nobleman, along with Charles Butterworth and Myrna Loy as members of his family.
Some Like It Hot is a 1959 American romantic comedy film directed, produced, and co-written by Billy Wilder. It stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and features George Raft, Pat O'Brien, Joe E. Brown, Joan Shawlee, Grace Lee Whitney, and Nehemiah Persoff in supporting roles. The screenplay by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond is based on a screenplay by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan from the 1935 French film Fanfare of Love. The film is about two musicians who disguise themselves by dressing as women in order to escape from mafia gangsters whom they witnessed committing a crime.
Sunset Boulevard is a 1950 American black comedy film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after a major street that runs through Hollywood, the center of the American movie industry.
The Goodbye Girl is a 1977 American romantic comedy-drama film produced by Ray Stark, directed by Herbert Ross and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings and Paul Benedict. The original screenplay by Neil Simon centers on an odd trio: a struggling actor who has sublet a Manhattan apartment from a friend, the current occupant, and her precocious young daughter.
Shirley MacLaine is an American actress, singer, author, activist, and former dancer. In a career which spans seven decades, she is known for her portrayals of quirky, headstrong, eccentric women. MacLaine is the recipient of numerous accolades including an Academy Award, two British Academy Film Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award.
Irma la Douce is a 1963 American romantic comedy film based on the 1956 French stage musical Irma La Douce by Marguerite Monnot and Alexandre Breffort. It was directed by Billy Wilder, and starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine.
Baxter is an Anglo-Saxon and Scottish name, originally from the English occupational surname meaning "baker," from the early Middle English bakstere and the Old English bæcere. The form Bakster was originally feminine, with Baker as the masculine equivalent, but over time both names came to apply to both men and women. Ancient variations in the spelling of the surname include Bakster, Baxstar, Baxstair, Baxstare and Baxster.
Promises, Promises is a musical with music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David and a book by Neil Simon. It is based on the 1960 film The Apartment written by Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond. The story concerns a junior executive at an insurance company who seeks to climb the corporate ladder by allowing his apartment to be used by his married superiors for trysts.
A Tom and Jerry is a traditional Christmastime cocktail in the United States, sometimes attributed to British writer Pierce Egan in the 1820s. It is a variant of eggnog with brandy and rum added and served hot, usually in a mug or a bowl.
The Majestic Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 245 West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan. It is one of the largest Broadway theatres with 1,681 seats, and traditionally has been used as a venue for major musical theatre productions. Among the notable shows that have premiered at the Majestic are Carousel (1945), South Pacific (1949), The Music Man (1957), Camelot (1960), A Little Night Music (1973), and The Wiz (1975). It was also the second home of 42nd Street and the third home of 1776. The theatre has housed The Phantom of the Opera since it opened on January 26, 1988. With a record-breaking over 13,300 performances to date, it is currently the longest-running production in Broadway history.
Billy Wilder (1906–2002) was an Austrian-born American filmmaker. Wilder initially pursued a career in journalism after being inspired by an American newsreel. He worked for the Austrian magazine Die Bühne and the newspaper Die Stunde in Vienna, and later for the German newspapers Berliner Nachtausgabe, and Berliner Börsen-Courier in Berlin. His first screenplay was for the German silent thriller The Daredevil Reporter (1929). Wilder fled to Paris in 1933 after the rise of the Nazi Party, where he co-directed and co-wrote the screenplay of French drama Mauvaise Graine (1934). In the same year, Wilder left France on board the RMS Aquitania to work in Hollywood despite having little knowledge of English.
Sweet Charity is a 1969 American musical comedy-drama film directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse in his feature directorial debut, written by Peter Stone, and featuring music by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields.
Postcards from the Edge is a 1990 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Carrie Fisher is based on her 1987 semi-autobiographical novel of the same title. The film stars Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid.
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