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The Apartment (1960)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  16 September 1960 (France)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 97,123 users  
Reviews: 235 user | 174 critic

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 250 Movies #101 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 September 1960 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Das Appartement  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond deliberated for 20 minutes when Jack Lemmon insisted he wanted to repeat the word "yes" twice. See more »

Goofs

The layout of Baxter's apartment makes no sense, especially in the context of Dr. Dreyfus's apartment. Dreyfus lives next to Baxter, which means their walls should be adjoining the full length of both flats. But from inside Baxter's living room one can see windows in both his kitchen and bedroom facing directly where the Dreyfus apartment should be (and there would likely be a window in the bathroom between the kitchen and bedroom). Dreyfus's apartment would have to veer immediately off to the extreme right when you enter it and be no more than a couple of inches wide in order to allow the kind of set-up seen in Baxter's apartment - clearly unrealistic, if not downright impossible. See more »

Quotes

[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 ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Music by James Pierpont
Sung a cappella and danced at the Christmas Eve party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Some Like it Dark - Wilder and Dark Comedy
30 July 2004 | by (Santa Cruz, CA) – See all my reviews

Billy Wilder knew how to make a great movie. Of course it helps to have one of the greatest all-time actors, Jack Lemon, play in your movies, but Lemon aside, Wilder was a genius. His gift for the comedic moment showed brilliantly on screen and reached deep inside the audience.

The Apartment, the last of the great Black and White films, showed a bit darker side to comedy than some of his other romps such as the hilarious Some Like It Hot. Some Like It Hot is just as funny today as it was in 1959. It is pure fun. At no point in the film are we approached with anything that we would take seriously. Let's face it, most of us are not running from the mob disguised as a member from the opposite sex.

The Apartment, however, brings up much more human themes and issues. Wilder is an expert and at no time does he leave you worried that it will turn out badly. This is, after all, a comedy. One mistake in the script and the movie could quickly become a deep film about suicide, loneliness, and peer pressure, but Wilder balances the subjects on the edge of a knife and allows us to smile at what could otherwise be a very depressing movie.

Wilder and his films like The Apartment are very similar to Shakespeare's comedies. It can be said that the difference between a Shakespeare comedy and tragedy is often not the story, but the ending. In a comedy, everyone is married; in a tragedy, everyone dies. the same is true with The Apartment, it all hinges on the outcomes. If Kubelik dies or Baxter is left alone, the movie would be a tragedy. But since they prevail in the end, the movie comes off as a great comedic success, albeit a bit dark.


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