Sometimes you watch a "classic" movie and you don't really understand why it's referred to as a classic movie... other times you watch a movie - like The Apartment - and you immediately understand why it receives the classic designation.
Along with Jack Lemmon, it stars my beloved Shirley MacLaine (plus Fred MacMurray). Directed by Billy Wilder.
While the movie takes place during the holiday season, Christmas isn't a huge part of the plot. So if you're not a fan of "Christmas movies", you'll probably still enjoy this one. Even though 99% of the men in it (and some of the women) are total shits. I've done many a movie post where Jack Lemmon plays the sleaze (see - Phfft! or How to Murder Your Wife) - in this one he's the one non-sleaze in a sea of creeps.
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Shirley plays Fran Kubelik. They use her last name a lot during the course of the film (or at least it seems like they do to me?), and I'm convinced that it's the perfect name for her character. Kubelik.kind and fatherly in this role. Not at all.
Fran stands up Jack Lemmon's character (Calvin Clifford "Buddy Boy" Baxter) when he was trying to take her to see The Music Man. A true shame! I would kill to go back in time and see the original production! In my dreams I perform in The Music Man as Harold Hill. Do you want to hear me sing "(Ya Got) Trouble"? Because I will do it for you. Just ask.
The office Christmas party scene was actually filmed on December 23, 1959, so as to catch everybody in the proper holiday mood. Billy Wilder filmed almost all of it on the first take, stating to an observer, "I wish it were always this easy. Today, I can just shout 'action' and stand back."
After you watch this, you should watch The Baxter. It's written and directed by Michael Showalter and the title is actually based on Jack Lemmon's character. Plus it's just enjoyable.
See all the previous movie posts here.