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Classic Wilder-but not classic treatment for the DVD
on September 3, 2002
The Apartment is an insightful movie made by one of cinema's most talented directors. The plot is fairly simple, but C.C. Baxter's (Jack Lemmon) is anything but. By innocently lending out his apartment to a coworker, Baxter's residence becomes the love nest for his philandering colleagues. Along the way, Baxter develops a friendship with Fran Kubelik (Shirley Maclaine), one of several attractive female elevator operators. Baxter is rewarded for his generosity by getting promoted by Jeff D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray). Little does he realize that Fran is Sheldrake's latest plaything. The Apartment has all that you expect from the best of Wilder: great performances, witty dialogue, and a plot that holds to this day, even if most of the depiction of the corporate office environment has changed dramatically (When was the last time you saw an elevator operator?). The three stars provide great characterizations, with MacMurray the real surprise here playing against type. This film is also notable for solidifying the Wilder/Lemmon team. With The Apartment, Lemmon was no longer playing second male leads or supporting roles. A worthwhile film that is still enjoyable today, but the DVD version leaves much to be desired. The picture quality is good, but the looping (the sound synchronization) is off and very distracting. Don't know the reason for this, but considering this film's place in cinema history, I would have thought it would have gotten the A treatment. The DVD is a disappointment.