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Poster for Holiday Classics: The Apartment (1960) 4K Restoration
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Holiday Classics: The Apartment (1960) 4K Restoration

Opens on December 29

Director: Billy Wilder Run Time: 125 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 1960

Starring: Fred MacMurray, Jack Kruschen, Jack Lemmon, Ray Walston, Shirley MacLaine

Country: United States
Language: English

Presented as part of the 2023 edition of Holiday Classics.

About the film:

Ambitious insurance clerk C.C. “Bud” Baxter (Jack Lemmon) attempts to climb the corporate ladder by loaning his apartment key to his superiors for their extramarital affairs, but the plan backfires when Bud unwittingly falls for the top executive’s current girlfriend, Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), an elevator operator in their office building.

At the 33rd Academy Awards, Wilder’s bittersweet workplace satire received ten nominations and won five awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Considered one of the greatest films of all time, The Apartment (1960) was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1994.

Restored in 4K by Park Circus in collaboration with Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

About the filmmaker:

Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classic Hollywood cinema.

Wilder first became a screenwriter in the late 1920s while living in Berlin. After the rise of Adolf Hitler, Wilder, who was Jewish, left for Paris, where he made his directorial debut. He relocated to Hollywood in 1933, and in 1939 he had a hit as a co-writer of the screenplay for the screwball comedy Ninotchka. Wilder established his directorial reputation after helming Double Indemnity (1944). In 1950, he co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Sunset Boulevard. From the mid-1950s on, Wilder made mostly comedies. Among the classics Wilder created in this period are the darkly funny war film Stalag 17 (1953), the romantic comedies Sabrina (1954) and The Apartment (1960), the courtroom drama Witness for the Prosecution (1957), and the farces The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959).

Over his five decade career, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director eight times, winning twice, and for a screenplay Academy Award 13 times, winning three times. He earned numerous lifetime honors, including AFI Life Achievement Award in 1986, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1988, and the National Medal of Arts in 1993. Wilder holds a significant place in the history of Hollywood censorship for expanding the range of acceptable subject matter.

The Apartment (1960) 4K Restoration previously screened at the Film Center in March 2023 as part of the Film Center’s retrospective series Some Like It Hot: The Films of Billy Wilder.

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