The Apartment (PG)


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The Independent Culture

Billy Wilder and his co-writer, IAL Diamond, expertly fused opposing elements in this rereleased 1960 classic: a corporate satire with sadness in its bones.

Jack Lemmon is the office drone who fishes for promotion by lending out his apartment to the philandering executives above him, while he paces outside the building.

The irony of his landlady tut-tutting at the noisy sex through the walls is that Lemmon must be one of the loneliest guys in New York.

Of many highlights, the most cleverly economical is the moment Lemmon picks up a broken compact mirror, sees his reflection split in two and realises that it's his boss (Fred MacMurray) who's having an affair with the woman (Shirley MacLaine) he longs for.

The more you see it, the more desperate the film becomes – yet you never tire of it.