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.

Director:

Billy Wilder
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Popularity
2,797 ( 170)
Top Rated Movies #117 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Lemmon ... C.C. Baxter
Shirley MacLaine ... Fran Kubelik
Fred MacMurray ... Jeff D. Sheldrake
Ray Walston ... Joe Dobisch
Jack Kruschen ... Dr. Dreyfuss
David Lewis ... Al Kirkeby
Hope Holiday ... Mrs. Margie MacDougall
Joan Shawlee ... Sylvia
Naomi Stevens ... Mrs. Mildred Dreyfuss
Johnny Seven ... Karl Matuschka
Joyce Jameson ... The Blonde
Willard Waterman ... Mr. Vanderhoff
David White ... Mr. Eichelberger
Edie Adams ... 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. Dobisch, Kirkeby, Vanderhoff and Eichelberger are now feeling neglected as Baxter no longer needs ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 use the word "yes" twice. See more »

Goofs

When Miss Olsen picks up the extension after being fired, we hear Sheldrake completing dialing his call to Baxter. A rotary dialer will not work when the extension is off the hook. 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 ...
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Connections

Referenced in Bruce Almighty (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Another Wilder classic
14 August 1999 | by PrimtimeSee all my reviews

Jack Lemmon is the man.

The Apartment really surprised me. The Best Picture winner starts off right in the middle of the action, but yet the first hour seems long and overrun. Too much time seems spent in trying to develop the characters (and oh so many of them) and not enough time is spent on just seeing what will happen. Just when I was about to lose faith, the film picks it up like I have never seen before. The whole sub-plot of the four guys wanting to use Lemmon's apartment for their evening tyrsts is dropped and Wilder smartly concentrates on Lemmon, MacLaine and MacMurray and the film creates true magic.

The Apartment is more of a drama than a comedy and balances the two elements perfectly. Just after one of the more dramatic moments of the film, we see Lemmon straining his pasta with a tennis racquet. The use of the doctor and his wife in supporting roles are completely there for comedy and yet add so much to the film. The ending also rates up there with the best of all time using an old device that doesn't seem at all cliched in this film. Some say that "Some like it hot" was Wilder's best, but now I have to disagree. The Apartment is better and surely would have made my top ten had the first hour not been so predictable.

How Jack Lemmon didn't win Best Actor is beyond me. His is a great performance, getting to act on more than one scale. MacMurray, another Wilder favourite is perfectly cast in the role of a family-wrecker. I wish they would have put a scene in which his wife confronts him with "The News". MacLaine glows on the screen even when she is sick and in bed.

I fully recommend this film to all, it being Wilder's best makes it a must see.

8/10 stars.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 1960 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

The Apartment See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$18,600,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,778,454
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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