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The Apartment

Digital Restoration
Film to Table dinner follows the December 8 screening


Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston,

After the December 8 screening, enjoy a Film to Table dinner at Babette, the cafe at BAMPFA. Join an intimate group of fellow filmgoers for a four-course, prix-fixe meal in a convivial, dinner-party atmosphere. Purchase dinner tickets in advance at (film tickets must be purchased separately).

“One thing I dislike more than being taken too lightly is being taken too seriously,” Billy Wilder reportedly said. So let’s say that The Apartment is a comedy of a ridiculous man, with cynical, noirish overtones. Jack Lemmon is an insurance-company drone whose only chance of picking his way out of the rat-maze is to give over his apartment for the sexual trysts of his superiors in the hope of being promoted. It’s an unusual take on New York’s housing problem, and also a sexual time capsule for 1960. Shirley MacLaine’s Miss Kubelick, elevator operator, has her own brand of gay tragedy; she, too, takes it on the chin, and anywhere she can get it, from boss Fred MacMurray. The behemoth company headquarters whose layout presages Brazil, the office party laced with Christmas jeer, the satiric jabs at corporate-speak are Wilder’s angle on the new boys in uniform: the gray flannel suits.

Judy Bloch
  • Billy Wilder
  • I. A. L. Diamond
  • Joseph LaShelle
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 125 mins
  • Park Circus

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View The Apartment documents  

Billy Wilder / Alain Resnais (program note), National Film Theatre (London, England), Richard Roud, 1968

The unquiet bed (review), Saturday Review

The Wilder touch (article)

The story of an apartment (review)

The apartment (advertisement)

The apartment (synopsis)

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View all The Apartment documentation on CineFiles.