I love the Academy Awards and last year I realized how few of the “Best Picture” winners I’d actually seen. So I made it a goal to see all 83 winners and blog my thoughts about them along the way.

Why did it win? Should another movie have won instead? Has it become a beloved classic or do many of you not even recognize the title? I invite you, my friends and guests, to comment along with me. Do you agree/disagree? I should be fair and place a SPOLIER ALERT on this blog since I’ll be writing about various parts of the movie. So read at your own risk…

I have often told people that I have movie amnesia… I can see a movie and forget all about it years later. So for that reason, I am re-watching the 27 I’ve seen before. That said, if no one visits or reads my blog and I basically perform the online equivalent of talking to a brick wall, that’s fine; if for nothing else, it’ll be my own reminder. Enjoy!

And the Oscar goes to…

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Apartment, 1960

Not Rated

This film follows C.C. Baxter, played by Jack Lemmon, who attempts to climb the corporate ladder a little faster by renting out his apartment to his superiors for their extra-marital affairs. And boom! - sexual innuendos and references are no longer watered down in the movies, they’re right out there as the main plot. This movie is considered a comedy/tragi-drama – an interesting genre in my opinion. But I guess it does seem to capture it all.

Baxter is quite a push-over and will even wait outside in the snow or rain waiting for his co-workers’ late dates to wrap up. He ends up falling for the office elevator operator (they had those?) played by Shirley MacLaine. Little does he know though that she is fling #whatever of his boss’s. Fran (MacLaine) is devastated when she discovers she’s just another one of his flames and attempts suicide when left alone in Baxter’s apartment. The film has a pretty light tone overall which kind of eases the tension when things get dark. All ends well though for those worried about a happy ending.

This movie was considered quite risqué for its time. Nothing obviously is shown (in that regard), but the mere talk of it (which is the main premise of the movie) made it daring. This now may not come as a shock to you to find out that this is the same director that brought us “The Lost Weekend” (the first movie to really deal with alcoholism).

“The Apartment” was up against “The Alamo”, “Elmer Gantry”, “Sons and Lovers”, and “The Sundowners”- NONE of which I’ve even heard of… although I hadn’t even heard of the winner either. It won half of its nominations including Best Director, Best Writing, Best Art Direction, and Best Film Editing. I’m not sure about those last three wins… Although, I’m a little surprised it won Best Picture to begin with. Yes, it may have pushed some boundaries (which the Academy historically seems to favor), but overall, the movie was kind of no big deal. It’s not one I would necessarily recommend or rave about. It’s like any other “comedy/tragi-drama” that comes into theatres nowadays. I would have guessed that John Wayne’s big-budget film about the battle for independence at the Alamo would’ve snagged the award. ANNNNDD… guess what other movie was made this year but not even up for nomination? “Psycho”! – I haven’t seen it but I’m pretty sure it’s a popular movie.


In one particularly comical scene, a sick Baxter (from standing out in the cold the night before) is called into his fast-talking superior’s office and questioned about a key that’s floating around the office. Thinking he’s busted for spreading immorality around his work environment, he gets quite anxious and accidentally squirts nasal spray all over the office. Turns out, boss man (Fred McMurray, who is cast against type) just wants in on the action.

And how about when Baxter makes dinner for Fran and strains the spaghetti with his tennis racket…?


Stand up for yourself. Don’t let people walk all over you, even if you think you’ll benefit from it later.

And definitely don’t be the keeper of people’s dirty little secrets.

1 comment:

  1. Mom was just talking to me about Psycho's role in her American teenage pop culture.