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UK: Park Circus (2008)
UK: Downtown Pictures (2000)
Cast: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, David Lewis, Hope Holiday, Joan Shawlee, Naomi Stevens, Johnny Seven, Joyce Jameson, Willard Waterman, David White, Edie Adams, Dorothy Abbott, Benny Burt, Mason Curry, Frances Weintraub Lax, David Macklin, Hal Smith
Director: Billy Wilder
UK: 125 mins (2008)
UK: 119 mins (2000)
UK Certificate: PG contains mild scenes involving self-harm
UK Release Date: 11 July 2008 (Limited Re-release of 40th Anniversary re-issue)
UK Release Date: 15 December 2000 (40th Anniversary re-issue)
Filmed in black and white this is the 40th Anniversary re-issue of the award winning THE APARTMENT directed, co-written and co-produced by Billy Wilder.
C C ('Buddy') Baxter (Jack Lemmon) works as an insurance clerk in New York. To please his middle management bosses, he loans out his apartment so they can conveniently carry on their sordid extra-marital afairs without the bother of hotels and prying bellboys. This results in Baxter being considered a sex maniac by his neighbours and he's constantly suffering from a cold after having to spend nights outside. In exchange his superiors promise to put in a good word with the big boss, Jeff D Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), to help him obtain a promotion. This conniving device works like a charm. Baxter is soon given a sprawling office, a secretary and a key to the executive washroom in a surprise promotion. Soon, Sheldrake too is using the key to the apartment as he is also carrying on an affair.
Now that he has 'arrived', Baxter doffs a bowler hat, slings a walking cane on his arm and goes after a girl he adores, Fran Kubelik (Shirley Maclaine), a rather simple-minded but cute elevator operator in his office building. He is crushed to learn that she is the one having the affair with the much-married Sheldrake. The grim irony of the situation deepens even further when Sheldrake tells Fran that he cannot marry her, even though he has been stringing her along with this promise. She takes an overdose in Baxter's apartment after her lover leaves, and Baxter finds her just in the nick of time, revives her and blurts out his love for her.
He tenderly nurses Fran back to health, preparing meals in a unique fashion, such as straining spaghetti through the threads of his tennis raquet. Returning to work, Baxter is overwhelmed by the shallow morality he and his colleagues have been practising and when Sheldrake again asks for his apartment key, Baxter refuses whilst at the same time quitting his job.
He returns to the apartment where Fran joins him and discovers that he has given up his career for her.