The Apartment

Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: Billy Wilder

REVIEWED: 07-27-98

How far will a man go to climb the corporate ladder? Jack Lemmon plays Bud Baxter, a lowly insurance clerk whose one trump card is his apartment. He's prevailed upon to "loan out" his apartment for secret trysts when married executives at his company have affairs. He has to, of course, deal with the aftermath of their nocturnal visits, as well as grapple with his own conscience. The real problems arise, however, when he starts to fall for the current girlfriend (Shirley MacLaine) of his boss. Wilder co-wrote this jaundiced satire of the company man, and it definitely bears his stamp of blighted hope and cynicism while remaining wildly funny at the same time. Watch out for Fred MacMurray as Lemmon's utter heel of a boss; it's one of his few departures from the vanilla roles in which he was usually cast. Wilder earlier persuaded him to play a scoundrel in Double Indemnity, much to his trepidation; it of course turned out to be a runaway success. The Apartment was as well, dragging home a number of Academy Awards in l960.

--Jerry Renshaw

Other Films by Billy Wilder
Double Indemnity
Some Like it Hot

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