1001 Flicks

Regularly updated blog charting the most important films of the last 104 years.

Monday, August 24, 2009

366. The Apartment (1960)

Directed By Billy Wilder


A man lends out his apartment to his superiors at work for extra-marital escapades. This isn't nice for him but he does get some quick promotions... until the woman he loves is one of those taken to the apartment by his boss.


I am sorry for taking such a long time-out here, I will really try to get more regular with the film viewing. So now we get back to this. The Apartment is another great Billy Wilder film. A strong social critique under the guise of a rom-com.

Well it is really more than a rom-com, it starts out as a com-com, moves to a dram-com, to a dram-dram and ends as a rom-com. Billy Wilder gives us plenty of turns in the film that not only switch the plot but more importantly the whole tenor of the film.

The extra-marital escapades move from amusing to quite seedy, not because they change as the acts that they are but because the main character's perspective change and so does ours. Jack Lemmon's lending out of his Apartment moves from funny inconvenience, to serious inconvenience, to emotionally painful to unbearable. All this in a film that is just plain easy to watch and can be enjoyed by almost anyone. This is the versatility of Wilder's films that make them the great, unpertentious works of art that they are.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The initial concept for the film came from the one-act play Brief Encounter by Noel Coward, in which the main character would use a friend's apartment to have an affair on his wife. Wilder and Diamond also based the film partially on a local scandal in which a high-powered agent having an affair was shot for sleeping with the woman's husband. During the affair, the agent would use a low-level employee's apartment for his trysts.