Reel Classics

The Apartment 4K Restoration (1960) - 4K UHD Blu-ray Review

The Apartment 4K Restoration

“Why do people have to love people, anyway?”

By the time the 1960’s rolled around in America, the infamous Production Code that was implemented in the 1930’s was clearly losing its grip in Hollywood. The years of filmmakers sliding in double-meaning lines of dialogue and skirting around “inappropriate” or taboo topics were quickly coming to an end. In the height of the Code, Billy Wilder’s The Apartment would have certainly been a no-go, but by the time of its release in 1960, the film was a clear indication that Hollywood had had enough of the Code’s restrictions.

"MacLaine steals the show having the best written character, though as tragic as Miss Kubelik is"


C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is your average office-worker. Another cog in the corporate America machine, Baxter does his due diligence for the large insurance company in hopes to eventually climb the corporate ladder one day. He works long into the night…but not for the reason you would think. In the evenings, Baxter is unable to get into his apartment because he lends it out to the various managers of the company so that they may participate in extramarital affairs. For this, the managers give him glowing reports and Baxter gets undeserved promotions. This all works well enough until is forced to lend the key to the big boss, Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) whose mistress is the young and naïve elevator operator, Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), whom Baxter has a crush on. In no time, things quickly get out of hand.

From the get-go, the film establishes a great rhythm with a narration by Baxter and the characters in sync with the beat of the score, serving both as a point of great physical comedy and as a nod to the machine-like atmosphere of corporate America. It’s quick-witted and precise – you know you’re in the hands of a master filmmaker.

But the film also does well to surprise the viewer.The Apartment 4K Restoration

Rather than capitalize on the success of Some Like It Hot, Wilder takes a slight detour from the straight-forward comedy to that of the dramedy. With a set-up of a main character caught in the rather ridiculous situation, the film seems like it does indeed have its course set on comedy, but it takes a sharp turn. It is a rather dangerous and bold move to hit the viewer with a suicide attempt in the middle of the story, but The Apartment handles it with wonderful expertise. It is not overly dramatic or sentimental at any point in the film. Rather, the dramatic elements add to the great complexity of the story and the characters, especially for the characters of Baxter and Miss Kubelik who are perhaps too nice and naïve for their own good.

The Apartment hits a lot of themes in its two-hour runtime. But above all, it’s a great commentary surrounding the dangers of the lack of humanity that corrupts those caught in the traps of American corporations as Baxter and Miss Kubelik are. Lemmon is fantastic and loveable as your average-joe, but MacLaine steals the show having the best written character, though as tragic as Miss Kubelik is. 

Critics of the time had mixed reviews for this film, but there is no mixing up the fact that now, The Apartment is a REEL CLASSIC, and Kino Lorber has gifted us with a brand-new 4K restoration that greatly impresses.

5/5 stars

 

The Apartment 4K Restoration

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4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- March 29, 2022
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A

Unlock the door to The Apartment and welcome legendary director Billy Wilder (Some Like It Hot) and screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond (One, Two, Three) at their scathing, satirical best. C.C. “Bud” Baxter (Jack Lemmon, The Fortune Cookie) knows the way to success in business…it’s through the door of his apartment! By providing a perfect hideaway for philandering bosses, the ambitious young employee reaps a series of undeserved promotions. But when Bud lends the key to big boss J.D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray, Double Indemnity), he not only advances his career, but his own love life as well. For Sheldrake’s mistress is the lovely Fran Kubilek (Shirley MacLaine, Irma La Douce), elevator girl and angel of Bud’s dreams. Convinced that he is the only man for Fran, Bud must make the most important executive decision of his career: lose the girl…or his job. By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, The Apartment won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Movie-wise, there has never been anything like it…love-wise, laugh-wise or otherwise-wise!

Video

Presented in its original 2:35:1 aspect ratio, the depth, contrast, and clarity all look stunning on this 4K restoration. Everything is clean add nicely balanced, and no signs of any imperfections. Jack Lemmon’s elastic and sweet face can be seen in great detail for miles! 

Audio

With a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, the audio is amazing. Everything from the dialogue to the score comes in clean and clear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

On the Blu-Ray disc, all of the special features included have been previously released on prior Blu-Ray releases of the film. You can take an inside look at the making of the film and a look at Jack Lemmon’s career.

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  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

5/5 stars


Film Details

The Apartment 4K Restoration

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
125 mins
Director
: Billy Wilder
Writer:
Billy Wilder; I.A.L. Diamond
Cast:
Jack Lemmon; Shirley MacLaine; Fred MacMurray
Genre
: Comedy | Romance
Tagline:
You'll Simply Fall Apart With Laughter!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe; I mean, shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were."
Theatrical Distributor:
United Artists
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 15, 1960
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 29, 2022.
Synopsis: Insurance worker C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) lends his Upper West Side apartment to company bosses to use for extramarital affairs. When his manager Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) begins using Baxter's apartment in exchange for promoting him, Baxter is disappointed to learn that Sheldrake's mistress is Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), the elevator girl at work whom Baxter is interested in himself. Soon Baxter must decide between the girl he loves and the advancement of his career.

Art

The Apartment 4K Restoration

 

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