Movie Monday: The Apartment 1960
C.C. Baxter is just a poor sap who works as a clerk at a big insurance company, hoping to work his way up with the only leverage he has: his apartment. He spends his nights sleeping on the bench outside his place, in rain or shine, catching colds and sacrificing his own love life to give up his apartment to philandering big wigs from the office. Everything's going well for him, until he has his eyes on the very same girl who has been borrowing his apartment with the bossman.
The whole office set-up is very much like what you see in episodes of Mad Men, what with the secretaries who get more involved than they should, office politics that revolve around flowing skirts, and crazy office parties surrounded by classic midcentury decor. I wish the movie was in color, thought- it would be such a treat for the eyes!
Billy Wilder liked to shoot his movies in black and white, though, and since he is one of my very favorite writers/directors, with his sharp, dark sense of humor, witty screenplays, I will forgive him for the lack of glorious technicolor in this film. Shirley MacLaine, Jack Lemmon, and Fred MacMurray shine in The Apartment, though they have plenty to work with, as this Wilder script rivals his work in Some Like it Hot. It's such a fun movie- an adult plot that still manages to portray a somewhat squeaky clean and playful feeling.