The Apartment

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The Apartment is a 1960 American comedy-drama film produced and directed by Billy Wilder, and starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray. It was Wilder's follow up to the enormously popular Some Like It Hot and was an equal commercial and critical hit, grossing $25 million at the box office. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards, and won five, including Best Picture.

It was later adapted by Neil Simon, Burt Bacharach and Hal David into the Broadway musical Promises, Promises.

Contents

Plot

C. C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is a lonely office drone for an insurance company in New York City. Four different company managers take turns commandeering Baxter's apartment, which is located on West 67th Street on the Upper West Side, for their various extramarital liaisons. Unhappy with the situation, but unwilling to challenge them directly, he juggles their conflicting demands while hoping to catch the eye of fetching elevator operator Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine). Meanwhile the neighbors in the apartment building assume Baxter is a "good time Charlie" who brings home a different drunken woman every night. Baxter accepts their criticism rather than reveal the truth.

The four managers write glowing reports about Baxter — a little too glowing, so personnel director Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) suspects something illicit behind the praise. Sheldrake lets Baxter's promotion go unchallenged on condition that he be allowed to use the apartment as well, starting that night. Sheldrake gives Baxter two tickets to The Music Man to ensure his absence. Delighted about his promotion, Baxter asks Miss Kubelik to meet him at the theatre. She agrees and it is revealed to the audience that she is Sheldrake's girlfriend, intending to break off their affair that night but is instead charmed by Sheldrake to the apartment. Baxter is disappointed at being stood up, but is willing to forgive Miss Kubelik.

At an office party on Christmas Eve, Baxter discovers the relationship between Sheldrake and Miss Kubelik, though he conceals this realization, while Miss Kubelik learns from Sheldrake's secretary that she is merely the latest female employee to be his mistress, the secretary herself having filled that role several years earlier. At the apartment, Miss Kubelik confronts Sheldrake with this information and while he maintains that he genuinely loves her, he leaves to return to his family. Meanwhile, a depressed Baxter picks up a woman in a local bar and, upon returning the apartment, is astounded to find Miss Kubelik in his bed, fully clothed and overdosed on Baxter's sleeping pills.

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