United Artists | Release Date: June 15, 1960
8.7
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Universal acclaim based on 36 Ratings
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8
Compi24Oct 6, 2020
One of the tighter, snappier and more memorable screenplays you'll encounter in the pantheon of Best Picture winners, "The Apartment" is as much an enticing exercise in dramatic irony and intrigue as it is a tender portrait of humanity andOne of the tighter, snappier and more memorable screenplays you'll encounter in the pantheon of Best Picture winners, "The Apartment" is as much an enticing exercise in dramatic irony and intrigue as it is a tender portrait of humanity and love. With all of this coming from the late, great Billy Wilder, you'll find I'm not the least bit surprised. I could watch Jack Lemmon in anything, and for days, to boot. With every performance the guy gives, in everything I've ever seen him in, he builds an express lane straight to your heart, immediately endearing himself to you and making you laugh. Shirley MacLaine is equally winsome, with the chemistry between her and Lemmon really comprising most of the film's appeal. What's most surprising about the film is its deft ability to juggle totally disparate tonalities. It's definitely a comedy in that it's "comedic" (in the Greek sense of the word), but "The Apartment" also takes great risks in its second and third acts, introducing certain thematic elements I didn't expect, but ultimately welcomed with open arms. It's brave, arresting and terrific in its execution. Again, I'm not at all shocked this won as many Oscars as it did. Expand
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10
thelolAug 25, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Ohhh - after my 4th or 5th viewing, I think this may be one of the most remarkable blends of comedy and drama to have ever been filmed - THE APARTMENT - in subtle ways - rises well above the conventions of any genre. It was my introduction to the great Billy Wilder, and my fondness for Jack Lemmon (a remarkable and sorely missed actor) begins here as well.

*SOME SPOILERS* The cold take on the sex-and-money ethos to be found in many corporate environments hasn't dated one bit; it could be argued that THE APARTMENT stands a bit ahead of its' time in the depiction of (what would appear to be) educated employees treated like (and feeling like) tools to be used in generation of someone else's income. Lemmon's character never forgets that he's disposable, even if the optimist in him hopes that something better may be found in his superiors. Deep down he knows this to be a pipe dream - the sexual adventurism of those same superiors betrays their utter lack of ethics. Of course, Lemmon's character isn't entirely above it all; he's been more than willing to hire out his own apartment as a place for his colleagues' peccadilloes, in exchange for career advancement, which of course - as Wilder early on links amoral sexual conduct and professional/corporate/financial misconduct in a greater social critique - gets him into trouble.

The dialogue is - as is always true with Wilder - very finely crafted, yet seems natural - this film is a remarkable display of the kind of reactions any of us would offer in similar situations. Interestingly, our two protagonists are also wonderfully imperfect as human beings - Lemmon and MacLaine bear some responsibility for the very serious situations they've gotten themselves into; they manage to realize this ("Be a mensch!" Lemmon's doctor neighbor exclaims) just in time to set things right. MacLaine in particular delivers a remarkable, complex performance - sweet and smart in her earliest scenes, bleak and emotionally ravaged in her climactic scene with MacMurray, naive elsewhere, sharp but hopeful at the end. The cinematography captures the entire cast beautifully - with minimal movement, abundant long takes, and a sleek lack of visual clutter, all of the principals are free to reveal their own best and worst impulses, within an environment that is stripped of artifice. The end result is a film filled with great moments one can easily identify with.
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8
TopechuloSep 5, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Divertida comedia a la que nos tiende acostumbrados su director. Un clásico del cine. Expand
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10
Gamal178Sep 22, 2019
I love this movie, one the best romances ever to hit the movie screen. A must see for sure.
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8
MglovesfunJan 10, 2020
While the plot is pretty questionable in places, a great performance from Jack Lemmon and an even better one from Shirley MacLaine combined with Wilder's sensitive direction lead to a really good film.
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8
AJ_13Mar 12, 2021
Thanks to a marvellous screenplay it manages to be funny even though treating some serious themes. Great performances.
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