Friday, July 17, 2009

The Apartment (1960)

Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter.  For a long while, Baxter has been letting a group of his coworkers use his apartment for their affairs.  Since all of these coworkers are cheating on their wives, Baxter's apartment is the only place they can bring their women.  Baxter lets them use his apartment because they will be recommending Baxter for a promotion and a raise.  

When the boss of the company, Mr. Sheldrake, played by Fred MacMurray, hears about Baxter and his apartment, he gives Baxter that promotion that he has been longing for.  In return, Sheldrake would like Baxter's apartment on Thursdays so he can bring his current fling there.

At work, Baxter has fallen for the elevator girl, named Fran, played by Shirley MacLaine.  She runs the elevator and takes people to their desired floor.  Baxter plans a date with her, but she flakes on him, leaving him in the cold.  Baxter is then really hurt when he realizes that she had flaked on him because she was with Sheldrake.  She is the fling Sheldrake was talking about!  

One night after Baxter returns to his apartment, he finds Fran asleep in his bed.  She was there with Sheldrake and now she will not wake up.  She took a dozen or so sleeping pills, trying to kill herself.  She does this because Sheldrake is still married and he is not leaving his wife.  She is tired of being the other woman.  This makes her hate her life.  After Baxter finds her and has the neighborhood doctor save her, he takes care of her for the next two days.  He then really falls for her and she seems to have feelings for him too, even though, she also still has feelings for Sheldrake.  Baxter isn't sure what to do about his feelings because Sheldrake is still his boss.  Will Fran decide to stay with Sheldrake or go to Baxter?

"The Apartment" won best picture at the Academy Awards back in 1960 and this is the first time I have seen it.  It is excellent.  Everyone is perfectly cast.  I am not a huge Jack Lemmon fan, but I really liked his performance in this picture.  He is a funny, nervous, and charming character.  MacLaine as Fran is also excellent.  I think this might be the first movie that I have seen with MacLaine and boy was I impressed.  You really end up falling in love with her, along with Baxter.  

Billy Wilder wrote and directed "The Apartment" and he did a great job. It is perfect in every way.  The film was always entertaining and it never lagged.  

"The Apartment", while funny, also touches on  the reality of cheating husbands.  It happens all the time and these girls that have affairs with married men, are sad, lonely beings.  That is why you really feel for MacLaine's character.  She is sad and messed up in the head, but she is coming out of it, much like the way she comes out of her drug induced state from the sleeping pills.  Even though she is attracted to MacMurray, we all know that Lemmon is the right one for her.  Will she come to realize this before the credits roll?  Watch this film and find out.

A  I recommend it.

No comments:

Post a Comment