2016 Blind Spot Series: The Apartment


Okay, now I'm back on track. This is my 2nd Blind Spot for the month since I missed out in August. 

What I knew going in: That Billy Wilder directed it. 

CC Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is a lower level employee at an insurance company who has been letting his bosses use his nearby apartment for their liaisons. When he's up for a promotion, another big wig, Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) wants in on the arrangement too. Baxter finds out the hard way that one of Sheldrake's hook ups happens to be Fran, (Shirley MacLaine) a woman who Baxter has a crush on.

Billy Wilder has been one of the more interesting directors to grace my Blind Spot lists. I notice that I don't often find classic films funny. I'm used to the raunchier stuff they have nowadays, I guess. But Wilder's films always make me laugh. This one is no exception. It's not a through and through comedy. Actually, the tone changes quite drastically with whoever is on screen. When it's Baxter, it's funny. When it's Fran, it's quite tragic. I like that is so seamlessly went between the two. 

Jack Lemmon has such a wonderful presence, has does MacLaine, I enjoyed watching them together. In an effort to squeeze in two Blind Spots in one month, I ended up watching this on YouTube instead of waiting for my DVD from Netflix, which was probably a mistake considering they sped up the voices to (I assume) avoid copyright infringement. It did make a few things more amusing, I suppose. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable quote: "Certainly  not, I'm a happily married man" - Kirkeby (David Lewis)

8 comments:

  1. This right here - "the tone changes quite drastically with whoever is on screen" is the part that was an issue for me. I didn't find it as seamless as you. It didn't help that as it went on, I saw Baxter as a tragic/pitiful creature as well. I did like the film overall, just not one I'm likely to watch again.

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    1. I can definitely understand that POV because the shift was very dramatic.

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  2. This is definitely my favorite Billy Wilder film so far and one of the few Best Picture films that I really love. I just love what Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine did as there is this air of tragedy but also love. The ending is perfect.

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  3. Billy Wilder is so sarcastic in his films and this makes another good point about marriage and romance and his sarcastic ways. I really like this film and feel deeply for MacLaine's character.

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    1. I liked her character quite a bit as well.

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  4. Wilder was one of the best at managing those changes of tone sometimes even within individual scenes.

    While this isn't my favorite film of his, it barely makes my top 10 of his pictures, Lemmon & MacLaine are phenomenal and make their scenes together so special.

    It's funny how time affects an actor's legacy. During his many decades of stardom Fred MacMurray was best known as a light leading man usually playing opposite most of the major actresses of the time and eventually the understanding father of the megahit My Three Sons on TV. But Wilder saw something darker in him and persuaded him to accept the lead in Double Indemnity and when Paul Douglas, who was originally cast as Sheldrake in this, died suddenly just before filming commenced he again turned to MacMurray who had a big success in both and they are surely his two best known films now, perhaps along with The Caine Mutiny where he again played a bastard. So his persona with the public is nowhere near what it was...unless you're a fan of Flubber that is!

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    1. I read that on IMDb! That's pretty interesting.

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