The Apartment
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Widely regarded as a comedy in 1960, The Apartment seems more melancholy with each passing year. Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, a go-getting office worker who loans his tiny apartment to his philandering superiors for their romantic trysts. He runs into trouble when he finds himself sharing a girlfriend (Shirley MacLaine) with his callous boss (Fred MacMurray). Director/co-writer Billy Wilder claimed that the idea for The Apartment stemmed from a short scene in the 1945 romantic drama Brief Encounter in which the illicit lovers (Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson) arrange a rendezvous in a third… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Wilder, a bilious and mercurial wit, here becomes a wide-screen master of time ..."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"With tremendous performances by the two leads (Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine), this is yet another "must see" title to be found on Wilder's resume."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"...despite all its cynicism, The Apartment still ends on a hopeful note..."
‑ Tomris Laffly, Movie Mezzanine
"{VIDEO ESSAY} Billy Wilder's classic Manhattan-based romantic comedy comes with a sly critique regarding 50's era corporate culture of rampant misogyny and unbridled ambition."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine shine as two essentially good souls trapped in a tangle of office politics."
‑ Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph
"Directed by Wilder with attention to detail and emotional reticence that belie its inherent darkness and melodramatic core, it's lifted considerably by the performances."
‑ Wally Hammond, Time Out
"Most of the time, it's up to director Wilder to sustain a two-hour-plus film on treatment alone, a feat he manages to accomplish more often than not, and sometimes the results are amazing."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"From such potentially edgy material Wilder and co-writer IAL Diamond sculpt an unforgettable romance."
‑ Andrew Collins, Radio Times
"When assessing his own work Billy Wilder described The Apartment as being the film with the fewest mistakes. And he is right: it is as near to perfect as is possible."
‑ Paul Huckerby, Electric Sheep
"Wilder has made some truly great movies, but this one is not the masterpiece we thought it was."
‑ Matthew Thrift, Little White Lies
"A comedy of men's-room humours and water-cooler politics that now and then among the belly laughs says something serious and sad about the struggle for success, about what it often does to a man, and about the horribly small world of big business."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"I wouldn't call this 1960 picture one of Billy Wilder's best comedies -- it's drab, sappy, and overlong at 125 minutes."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Despite some entertaining moments and a terrific performance by its lead, it's not a perfect film and does have some problems."
‑ Scott Nash, Three Movie Buffs
"Beautifully written and directed by the great Billy Wilder, bittersweet and heartfelt, this is sheer delight."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"Even over a half-century on, The Apartment remains a biting classic due to its modern romantic sensibilities and Lemmon's commanding, thoroughly charming central performance."
‑ Shaun Munro, What Culture
More reviews for The Apartment on Rotten Tomatoes