THE APARTMENT (Billy Wilder, 1960)
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM (PST)
Los Angeles, California
Melnitz Movies Presents: THE APARTMENT (1960)
Directed by Billy Wilder
Featuring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray
*Winner of 5 Academy Awards, Including Best Picture*
Tuesday, January 7th at 7:30 PM at the James Bridges Theater
"A gleeful, tender and even sentimental film." —The New York Times
"Elevates the workplace romance into a sublime erotics of officious addresses (the omnipresent Mister and Miss) and economic conundrum." —The Village Voice
The Apartment (1960) is producer/director Billy Wilder's bittersweet, heart-rending tragi-comedy/drama of a compliant insurance clerk (Lemmon) who secretly lends out his apartment to other company executives for adulterous sexual affairs and liaisons. The plot thickens when the clerk realizes that his building's elevator operator (MacLaine) is being taken for trysts by his married boss (MacMurray) to his apartment. The sophisticated yet cynical film of the early 60s is a bleak assessment of corporate America, big business and capitalism, success, and the work ethic, when a lowly but ambitious accountant enables his climb up the corporate ladder by ingratiating himself to his superiors - he literally prostitutes his own standards and moral integrity and allows himself to be exploited.
It won five major Academy Awards out of ten nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay (co-written by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond), Best B/W Art Direction/Set Decoration, and Best Film Editing. [It was not until thirty-three years later that another black and white Film would win Best Picture - Spielberg's Schindler's List (1993)].Three acting awards were passed over: Jack Lemmon for Best Actor, Shirley MacLaine for Best Actress and Jack Kruschen for Best Supporting Actor. It was a triple win for Wilder as Director (Wilder's second directing Oscar), Producer, and Screenplay author. Wilder's previous The Lost Weekend (1945) had also won Best Picture and Best Director. Wilder would cast Jack Lemmon in five more films as a leading man, including Irma La Douce (1963), The Fortune Cookie (1966), Avanti! (1972), The Front Page (1974), and Buddy Buddy (1981).
Reportedly, Wilder was inspired for the film by watching David Lean's Brief Encounter (1946) with a short scene about a man who vacates his apartment for a couple's secret tryst (Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson). The 1969 Broadway musical Promises, Promises (from Neil Simon, Hal David, and Burt Bacharach) was based on the film. It became a Tony winner and made the song "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" a hit. —Filmsite.org
125 MIN / USA / ENGLISH / 1960
When & Where
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● A Graduate Student-run screening series of new sneak previews, LA premieres, and cult
or classic repertory films that runs twice weekly throughout the UCLA academic year. Films are frequently accompanied by special guests, cast or crew, Q&A sessions and more.
● Funded by the Graduate Students Association and ASUCLA Student Interaction Fund.