27 Days With Billy Wilder And Me

Every Movie He Directed…From Mauvaise Graine to Buddy Buddy

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Day Eighteen: The Apartment

July 17th, 2011 · No Comments · 1960, Academy Award, Apartment, Fred MacMurray, IAL Diamond, Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine

The ApartmentBilly Wilder’s eighteenth movie, The Apartment, the Academy-Award winning comedy starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray, was released in 1960. Billy was 54 years old.

In typical Billy Wilder fashion, The Apartment starts with voiceover narration — lots and lots of exposition, which is usually the kiss of death for a screenwriter with less deftness. But, Wilder and screenwriting partner I.A.L. Diamond reveal everything there is to know about the protagonist and his world by telling, rather than showing…and it’s fascinating. So the audience doesn’t realize there’s a lot of talking going on; they’re just captivated by what’s being said.

The Apartment is about a nebbish named C.C. Baxter (Lemmon) who’s apartment is used by some of the executives in the insurance company where he works. Under the guise of promising him a promotion in exchange for his cooperation, the executives borrow Baxter’s apartment key so that they can use his residence for late-night trysts.

Principle Cast:
C.C. Baxter………………………………..Jack Lemmon (1925–2001)
Fran Kubelik……………………………….Shirley MacLaine (1934- )
Jeff D. Sheldrake…………………………..Fred MacMurray (1908–1991)
Joe Dobisch………………………………..Ray Walston (1914–2001)

The Apartment won five Academy Awards: Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Best Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, and Best Writing, Story and Sceenplay. It’s a great movie, with lots of humor, a touch of sadness, and a whole lot of heart.

They just don’t make ‘em like this any more.

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