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Billy Wilder

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The Apartment

Title: The Apartment
Directed by:
Billy Wilder
Written by:
I A L Diamond, Billy Wilder
Year: 1960

C C Baxter works for an insurance company in New York and is much like any other employee, except in one important regard: his apartment. It began fairly innocently with him offering his apartment to a superior because he wanted somewhere to take his mistress. With time, however, this escalated and now (when the film begins), a whole group of executives make use of poor Baxter’s bachelor apartment. Good natured as he is and conscious about what this means to his career, he does not stand up to them. Indeed, he helps them in any way he can, even if it means vacating his own home in the middle of the winter, degrading himself in the eyes of the neighbours and the landlady. The situation becomes unbearable when he becomes emotionally involved and falls in love with Fran Rubelik, the mistress of one of his superiors.

I like The Apartment. It manages to be touching without being too serious, it makes me laugh and it makes me empathise with poor Baxter and his situation. Furthermore, the acting is excellent, especially on the part of Jack Lemmon (Baxter) and Shirley MacLaine (Rubelik) The story itself is adequate and keeps me entertained, but is perhaps no masterpiece. On the whole, the film has a feel of quality to it all over which makes it worth at least four snails.

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