Movie Notices: The Apartment

by Tom Ingram

Genre Comedy
People Jack Lemmon; Shirley MacLaine; Fred MacMurray; Billy Wilder d.; I.A.L. Diamond w.
/10 7

Jack Lemmon is a nobody accountant who rises to the top by letting his bosses use his apartment for their affairs. He becomes smitten with Shirley MacLaine, a troubled elevator attendant. Unfortunately for him, MacLaine’s lover is the director of personnel (Fred MacMurray), one of the guests of the apartment.

Despite a setup of positively Shakespearean dramatic and comic potential, the movie limps flaccidly through the middle and finally slumps into a half-hearted sappy ending. The scenes drag, the jokes mostly aren’t funny, and not even the old Jewish doctor (Jack Kruschen) can give the movie some heart.

Director Billy Wilder brought on a lot of people from Some Like It Hot, which wasn’t all that funny either. Lemmon is a master, but he can’t work if he’s given nothing to work with.

2h5m; 1960; B/W; Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Art Direction, Editing; Oscar nods for Actor (Lemmon), Actress (MacLaine), Supporting Actor (Kruschen), Cinematography, Sound