The Apartment

The film The apartment was turned in 1960 with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, directed by Billy Wilder. Together with his longtime screenwriter IAL Diamond Wilder produced the movie for United Artists. The film received numerous awards, including five Oscars.

Plot of the film

The little clerk CC ( Calvin Clifford ) Baxter ( Jack Lemmon ) day -to-day working in a huge New York office tower for the insurance group " Consolidated Life". He is gradually upwards by providing his bachelor apartment on the West Side of Manhattan, the officers as a love nest available. Sometimes he has to sit in the cold, until he can return back to his apartment for hours on a park bench in Central Park.

One day the chief personnel manager Mr. Sheldrake ( Fred MacMurray ) where it meets calculated with the elevator operator Fran Kubelik ( Shirley MacLaine ), on the shy CC Baxter has long been an eye has thrown. As it is clear by accident that his beloved is Sheldrake's mistress, he tries to drown his sorrows in alcohol. When he comes home, he finds Miss Kubelik in his bedroom passed out on the bed in front, next to an empty tablet bottle. She wanted to take his life with sleeping pills, not realizing that she is in Baxter's apartment.

Baxter calls his neighbor, Dr. Dreyfuss, the Miss Kubelik in the bathroom to pump out the stomach, which are still powerless a shot of adrenaline and last several vials of smelling salts and medical slaps. Hours of common up- and running in the apartment, in order to stabilize the circulation, follow until the rest of the night in bed, the Baxters Rescued asleep can recover.

Baxter provides by cover-up that his boss, Mr. Sheldrake, no trouble getting. To cheer Fran, he plays with her ​​gin - rummy, but Fran has no real desire. When she is halfway back on her feet, she is picked up by her brother, who is very upset because of the suicide attempt. To protect Fran, Baxter claims to be the culprit, and cashed for a beating. Fran has indeed must realize that Sheldrake has only exploited, but when this shortly after his wife leaves apparently because of her, she again after.

In the end, Baxter has to decide: Will he at any price climb the career ladder or be a decent person? Baxter decides to Sheldrake to refuse access to his apartment, and consequently loses his job. As Fran learns at the New Year's celebration of it, they finally separates from Sheldrake. She has realized who she really loves. She hurries to Baxter. This has now decided to start a new life. On the packed suitcases in Baxter's apartment Fran finds the gin rummy cards. In a declaration of love from Baxter out she pushes him the cards in the hand: shut up and deal ( shut your mouth and sometimes off). Both sit down, smile at each other and start to play cards together.


The scene in the huge open-plan office at the beginning of the film is visually a reference to King Vidor's silent film A man of mass. For the scenes in the office of the back rows were filled with diminutive actors and uses specially-designed furniture. The film was shot in a studio the Goldwyn production in Hollywood. For the production design of the film got Alexandre Trauner 1961 Academy Award for Best Production Design.

Wilder got the idea for this film, after he had seen the film Encounter (1945 ) and wondered how well would look like the predicament of a man, the other couples relinquishing his apartment. Shirley MacLaine initially got only the first forty pages of the script to see because Wilder did not want that they knew the outcome of the story too early. She assumed that the script was not ready.

Although Adolph German was responsible for the music, comes the popular main theme Theme From ' The Apartment ' ( Original: The Jealous Lover, 1949) by the British composer Charles Williams.

The Christmas office party was filmed December 23, 1959, so that all were in the mood. Wilder needed for the scenes mostly just a single setting.

The screenplay by Wilder and Diamond later served as the basis for the musical Promises, Promises by Neil Simon ( book), Burt Bacharach (music) and Hal David ( lyrics ). It was first produced on Broadway by David Merrick. The German transfer of Werner Want Berger ( dialogues ) and Charly Niessen ( lyrics ) was published in 1977 under the title The Apartment.

The apartment was to Schindler's List (1993 ) the last black and white film, which was in the category " Best Picture" Oscar-winning. For Wilder, it was the height of his success. He is one of the few people who got three personal Oscars for a single film, as it both as a director in the category " Best Director ", as a producer in the category " Best Film" as well as a screenwriter in the category "Best script " was excellent. Only seven directors is so far succeeded.

In 2000, the Bayerischer Rundfunk television broadcasts produced an audio description of the film, spoken by Karin Haferland.


" The apartment I have never considered a comedy. "

"Billy Wilder created with this very bitter comedy a classic, which is sometimes so bad that one sticks in the throat from laughing. The satire on business ethics and willing subordinates moves deftly on the edge of the grotesque. "

"One of the sharpest, most bitter and most successful Billy Wilder comedies: a satire on business ethics and moral cowardice, played excellently and pointed to the grotesque. Wilder develops his style of tragicomic critique of morality in the highest perfection. "

" In the guise of a boisterous comedy with many funny ideas is a deeply sad story, a dark, reaching up to the open cynicism reflection on the Sale of humanity hidden. "

" Impressively translated Jack Lemmon in The Apartment [ sic] verbal and body language Baxter restlessness and Versatiles behavior -. Expressed the disclosure of his domestic privacy out of material and social opportunism "


Academy Awards

At the Oscar ceremony on 17 April 1961, the film was successful in five categories:

  • Academy Award for Best Production Design Alexandre Trauner and Edward G. Boyle
  • Oscar for Best Director Billy Wilder
  • Oscar for Best Film Editing at Daniel Mandel
  • Oscar for Best Film at Billy Wilder
  • Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay by Billy Wilder and IAL Diamond
  • Five other Oscar nominations were for Best Actor as Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor as Jack Kruschen as well as for Best Cinematography in a black and white film and for Best Sound.

Golden Globes

At the 18th ceremony of the Golden Globe Awards, the film was victorious in three categories:

  • Golden Globe for Best Picture ( Comedy )
  • Golden Globe for best actor Jack Lemmon
  • Golden Globe for Best Actress to Shirley MacLaine

British Film Academy Award

Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain

Directors Guild of America

Laurel Awards

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

Together with Jack Cardiff for Sons and Lovers (1960 )

Together with Jack Cardiff for Sons and Lovers (1960 )

Film Festival of Venice

Writers Guild of America

Subsequent awards by the prestigious American Film Institute