14 June 2012 2:20 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This a welcome re-release of the 1960 classic – a tendresse with complications

Billy Wilder's The Apartment (1960) is a big-city satire with a romantic heart of gold: it's a welcome re-release, and for those who love the style of Mad Men, or Richard Yates's 1961 novel Revolutionary Road (and Sam Mendes's fine screen adaptation) it's a must. Jack Lemmon plays Cc Baxter, a nerdy, naive, good-natured salaryman in a Manhattan insurance office. He's been bullied into letting sleazy married executives use his bachelor apartment after work to entertain their girlfriends; the chief offender is conceited personnel chief Mr Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray). Baxter is shyly falling in love with a pretty and smart elevator operator, Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), who is sporting a post-heartbreak gamine haircut. It's a tendresse with complications. Famously, the film was inspired by the "borrowed flat" scene from Brief Encounter, with all its resentment and self-loathing: the »

- Peter Bradshaw

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