By Matt Brunson
DIRECTED BY Billy Wilder
STARS Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine
A year after collaborating on the immortal Some Like It Hot, writer-director-producer Billy Wilder, co-writer I.A.L. Diamond and star Jack Lemmon re-teamed for 1960s The Apartment, another screen gem that attained classic status in about as much time as it takes to comb one's hair. Yet such instant accolades were nothing more than a work of art receiving its proper due, and even 50 years later, this brilliant comedy has lost none of its luster.
Lemmon stars as C.C. Baxter, an office underling who finds himself on a career trajectory toward executive status thanks to his compliance in allowing his apartment to be used by company superiors looking for a secluded place to take their mistresses. A bachelor with no friends or lovers, Baxter takes a liking to elevator operator Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) and is understandably upset when he discovers that she's the latest conquest of company bigwig and married man Jeff Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray).
A tender, tentative romance that's also a scathing look at office politics, The Apartment winner of five Academy Awards (including Best Picture) primarily because of the achingly heartfelt performances by Lemmon and MacLaine.
The Charlotte Film Society will present The Apartment at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, March 13, at Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Rd. General admission is $8. Go to www.charlottefilmsociety.org for more info.