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Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray
Written and directed by Billy Wilder
Originally released 1960
Arrow Academy 2018
Arrow Academy has released a superb restoration of Billy Wilder’s The Apartment which stars Jack Lemmon and won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Writing, and Best Directing. This Arrow Academy re-release is a must have for any classic film, Jack Lemmon, or Billy Wilder fan
The Apartment is a classic movie that mixes drama and dark comedy. Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, a nobody working for an insurance company. The only special thing about Baxter is he allows his bosses access to his apartment so they can have their affairs. Sheldrake, (Fred MacMurray) gets win of this arrangement and gets in on it so he can have his affair with elevator operator Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine). This propels former nobody Baxter to the higher levels of the insurance company he works for.
However, C.C. Baxter has a thing for Fran Kubelik and he soon gets stuck between a rock and a hard place when he has to decide what is more important: his newly acquired key to the executive washroom or his self-worth and the feelings he has for Kubelik . Shirley MacLaine is excellent as Fran Kubelik an innocent girl who is wise enough to mostly see what is going on but cannot disentangle herself from the situation she is in.
Things come to a head and C.C. Baxter, who is dismissively called Bud by his bosses, must make a man of himself.
There are a lot of different takes on what Billy Wilder was trying to say with The Apartment. One is a comment of the dehumanization of the American worker in the scene where we see the thousands of worker drones who work on the same floor and at the same job as C.C. Baxter. It is also a condemnation of Big Business morals.
The extras for The Apartment Blu-ray are listed below and numerous. They are quite good. However, film historian Bruce Block is off his rocker when he states that The Apartment works in part because Fred MacMurray makes Sheldrake human. That is obviously false and believing that takes away from the points Billy Wilder is making in this dramatic comedy about American society and the dehumanization that large corporations enforce on their minions.
Also from Arrow Academy: The Serpent’s Egg
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
• Original uncompressed PCM mono audio
• Optional 5.1 remix in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio
• Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary with film producer and historian Bruce Block
• New appreciation of the film and select scene commentary by film historian Philip Kemp
• The Flawed Couple, a new video essay by filmmaker David Cairns on the collaborations between Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon
• Billy Wilder ABC, an overview by David Cairns on the life and career of the filmmaker, covering his films, collaborators and more
• New interview with actress Hope Holiday
• Inside the Apartment, a half-hour making-of featurette from 2007 including interviews with Shirley MacLaine, executive producer Walter Mirisch, and others
• Magic Time: The Art of Jack Lemmon, an archive profile of the actor from 2007
• Original screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond (BD-ROM content)
• Theatrical trailer
• Blu-ray packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Ignatius Fitzpatrick