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UA Short Film Competition

The Apartment

Directed by Billy Wilder

The Apartment (1960) was produced and directed by Billy Wilder, and stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray. It was Wilder's follow up to the enormously popular Some Like It Hot and was an equal hit, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture.

C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), an insurance clerk who is only a face in a crowd of 30,000 employees, has a little problem: He can't use his own apartment. Since he once lent out his key to one of his superiors and his mistress, this custom has spread ever since. Now, different superiors from different departments take his place for their tête-à-têtes. Being promised not to be forgotten when it comes to shifts in personnel, C.C. Baxter swallows his anger ¬– until he finds out that his recent flame, Fran Kubelik (Shirley Maclaine), is the secret lover of the company director Jeff D. Sheldrake. A married man, Jeff has seduced Fran, convincing her that he will divorce his wife to stay with her. When Fran tries to commit suicide in Baxter's apartment after a meeting with Jeff, she stays with Baxter while recovering, and he falls in love for her; leaving him to make the decision between his excellent position in the company and his love.

Directed by

Billy Wilder

Writing credits

Billy Wilder (written by) &

I.A.L. Diamond (written by)


Jack Lemmon ... C.C. 'Bud' Baxter

Shirley MacLaine ... Fran Kubelik

Fred MacMurray ... Jeff D. Sheldrake

Ray Walston ... Joe Dobisch

Jack Kruschen ... Dr. Dreyfuss

David Lewis ... Al Kirkeby

Hope Holiday ... Mrs. Margie MacDougall

Joan Shawlee ... Sylvia

Naomi Stevens ... Mrs. Mildred Dreyfuss

Johnny Seven ... Karl Matuschka

Joyce Jameson ... The blonde

Willard Waterman ... Mr. Vanderhoff

David White ... Mr. Eichelberger

Edie Adams ... Miss Olsen


Romance / Comedy / Drama more


  • Wilder directed Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959). He grew to despise her demands for star treatment and her poor work ethic, and thus included the party-girl Monroe-esque character in this film.
  • According to Shirley MacLaine on her official website, much of the movie was written as filming progressed. The gin rummy game was added because at the time she was learning how to play the game from her friends in the Rat Pack. Likewise, when she started philosophising about love during a lunch break one day, this was also added to the script.
  • It was said that while filming the scene where C.C. Baxter sleeps in Central Park in the rain, Billy Wilder had to spray Jack Lemmon with anti-freeze to keep him from freezing.