Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

The Apartment (1960)

Directed by Billy Wilder

Starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston


A wonderful little story, smartly told and well-directed. Long takes and wider shots, which I know Wilder fought for, both work wonderfully.

Made during the wonderful transition between the formal 50’s and experimental 60’s. In the themes and performances, you can see the boundaries being pushed a little bit, but not so much as to abandon the time-tested conventions of filmmaking. This also must be one of first movies where American characters are speaking casually instead of with a more formal Mid-Atlantic accent. A nice “slice of life” movie, with scenes and habits and accessories that reveal what daily life really would have been like back then.

Nice cast. Lemmon was really great, wasn’t he? A wonderful combination of expression, diction, and physical comedy. Lemmon was one of the first true masters of expression, with the lightness and physical coordination required for good physical comedy. Did he ever try to tackle a truly dramatic role?

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