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The Apartment (1960)

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.


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Top Rated Movies #100 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Joe Dobisch
Dr. Dreyfuss
Mrs. Mildred Dreyfuss
Johnny Seven ...
Karl Matuschka
The Blonde
Willard Waterman ...
Mr. Vanderhoff
Mr. Eichelberger
Miss Olsen


As of November 1, 1959, mild mannered C.C. Baxter has been working at Consolidated Life, an insurance company, for close to four years, and is one of close to thirty-two thousand employees located in their Manhattan head office. To distinguish himself from all the other lowly cogs in the company in the hopes of moving up the corporate ladder, he often works late, but only because he can't get into his apartment, located off of Central Park West, since he has provided it to a handful of company executives - Mssrs. Dobisch, Kirkeby, Vanderhoff and Eichelberger - on a rotating basis for their extramarital liaisons in return for a good word to the personnel director, Jeff D. Sheldrake. When Baxter is called into Sheldrake's office for the first time, he learns that it isn't just to be promoted as he expects, but also to add married Sheldrake to the list to who he will lend his apartment. What Baxter is unaware of is that Sheldrake's mistress is Fran Kubelik, an elevator girl in the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Movie-wise, there has never been anything like it - laugh-wise, love-wise, or otherwise-wise! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 September 1960 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Das Appartement  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jack Lemmon and Joan Shawlee also worked together in Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond's Some Like It Hot. See more »


After Baxter gets home for the first time, he cleans up by placing a large waste bucket of empty liquor bottles outside his apartment door. An hour later when he has to vacate the apartment for one of the other men, the waste bucket full of bottles is gone. There was no-one around to carry his bottles away at that time of night. See more »


[first lines]
C.C. Baxter: [narrating] On November 1st, 1959, the population of New York City was 8,042,783. If you laid all these people end to end, figuring an average height of five feet six and a half inches, they would reach from Times Square to the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan. I know facts like this because I work for an insurance company - Consolidated Life of New York. We're one of the top five companies in the country. Our home office has 31,259 employees, which is more than the entire population ...
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Featured in 50 Films to See Before You Die (2006) See more »


Jealous Lover
(1949) (uncredited)
(Theme from 'The Apartment')
from Naughty Arlette (1949)
Music by Charles Williams
Played during the opening credits and often throughout the film
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of my favorite movies
23 April 2002 | by (los angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

After the first time I saw The Apartment, I admired it so much and placed it in my favorite movies list. After watching it a second time on widescreen and digitally remastered DVD, my love for it just deepened. I was once again touched by Shirley MacLaine's portrayal of Miss Kubelik, a lovely but unlucky in love woman. I also laughed again at Jack Lemmon's perfect delivery of one-liners and other mannerisms.

Billy Wilder made The Apartment right after the huge success of his last film, Some Like It Hot, also with Jack Lemmon. The Apartment is not as funny, but it is more accomplished and deeper in meaning. Watching it in widescreen made me appreciate more the complexity of the story. Widescreen shots of C.C. Baxter's (Lemmon) apartment shows emptiness and loneliness. The shot of Baxter's office, which has employees in desks that seem to extend into eternity, shows that Baxter is just a faceless man in a populated world.

C.C. Baxter is an ambitious employee in an insurance company. He tries to work himself to a promotion by allowing his philandering bosses to use his apartment as a perfect hideaway. As an exchange for the use of his apartment, his bosses put him in the top ten of the efficiency reports. After getting a promotion and successfully asking the elevator girl Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) on a date, everything was going well for Baxter. Until he finds out that Miss Kubelik is the mistress of his big boss J.D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray).

Miss Kubelik and Sheldrake had a summer affair and Sheldrake wants Kubelik back admitting that he still loves her. Showing vulnerability, she agrees to get back together and ends up using Baxter's apartment twice a week. Naturally there will be problems. Sheldrake could not break up his marriage, and Kubelik does not like how the relationship is going but couldn't help being in love with him. Kubelik summed it up when she said `when you're in love with a married man, you shouldn't wear mascara.'

For Baxter, things couldn't be more complex. He wants to keep getting promotions but he might lose Kubelik in the process. He adores Kubelik but he doesn't want to be unemployed. Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond's script couldn't have been better written. It ranks up there with the likes of great scripts of Casablanca and Citizen Kane. They filled it with small intricate details and such funny lines. The Apartment is very ingenious and inspirational. When I wasn't laughing, I was smiling.

Billy Wilder perfected the style of satirical filmmaking. In The Apartment, he touches a lot of subjects. The movie deals with adultery, suicide, loneliness, and corporate cutthroats. The movie won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but surprisingly, no acting Oscars. I have seen many romantic comedies, and while many are good, most of them do not have the same heart and warmth as The Apartment. It is in my list of top ten favorite movies because it entertained me, inspired me, and showed me how to live… human-wise.

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I mean, top 100, really?? marax-4
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