Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray
Written and directed by Billy Wilder
Arrow Academy 2018
The Apartment (1960) won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Writing and Best Directing. Arrow Academy has re-released this dramatic comedy on Blu-ray. The superb restoration work that allows viewers to view The Apartment as if it was premiere night. If you are a Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon, or classic American movie fan this Arrow Academy re-release is a must.
The Apartment is a classic American film that adroitly blends dark comedy and drama. Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, a nobody working for an insurance company. He only stands out from the hundreds of colleagues working next to him because he has been coerced to lend the key to his lubidinous bosses for their affairs. The only reason Baxter gets any attention is because Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), the big boss, has gotten wind of this arrangement and he wants in so he can have an affair with elevator operator Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine).
Baxter does have a thing for Fran Kubelik and he soon gets stuck between a rock and a hard place. Shirley MacLaine is excellent at playing 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
The extras for The Apartment Blu-ray are numerous and listed below. They are quite good though I take great exception to film historian Bruce Block stating that The Apartment works in part because Fred MacMurray makes Sheldrake human. That is blatantly not true 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.
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