Friday, October 8, 2010

Classic Movie of the Week: The Apartment (1960)

It seems that more than half of Princeton’s student body and I have been fighting an evil cold of doom these past few weeks. And while I’ve been sneezing during lectures, sharing cough drops in the dining halls, and sniffing Afrin between classes, I couldn’t help thinking about Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. Now, this movie has very little to do with fighting apocalyptic colds, except that the main character in this dark comedy, C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), has a pretty persistent cold throughout the film. Yet, at the same time, this cold demonstrates just how all the forces of nature seem to be against C.C. Baxter.

Baxter is a young lonely guy trying to work his way up from the bottom of a large corporation. He needs a way to stand out from his competition, so he lends his superiors the key to his apartment for their illicit affairs. In theory, this is a brilliant idea, but all it seems to lead to is Baxter roaming the rainy streets of New York late into the night, waiting for his apartment to be free again. When he finally gets up the courage to ask the beautiful elevator girl, Miss Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) out on a date, Baxter is stood up because she is too busy with his boss… In his apartment…

I won’t reveal any more, but I will tell you that you need to watch this movie because the plot only thickens from there. And you get to see pasta being strained by means of a tennis racket. I don’t think I need to say anymore, but if you do need more persuading, I could tell you that this film won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1960 and the director Billy Wilder is the mastermind behind such films as Some Like It Hot, Sunset Boulevard, and Double Indemnity. But I bet the pasta-straining tennis racket is more than enough.

Click here for the trailer.

Click here for an awesome scene featuring Evil Cold of Doom.

Side Note: Promises, Promises is a Broadway musical based on The Apartment and it’s awesome, so you should see it if you get the chance.

The Apartment can be rented through Netflix or through the Princeton University Library.

-Lolita De Palma ‘14

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