The Apartment

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Gigi M.
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The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)

#1 Post by Gigi M. » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:53 am

From DVDACTIVE:

[quote]MGM Home Entertainment has announced a collector's edition of The Apartment which stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. This Billy Wilder directed film will be available to own from the 5th February, and should retail at around $19.98. Extra material will include an audio commentary from Bruce Block, Film Producer, UCLA Professor and AFI Member, an “Inside the Apartmentâ€

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filmyfan
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#2 Post by filmyfan » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:26 am

sounds promising...although that cover is extremely dodgy !

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domino harvey
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#3 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:57 am

filmyfan wrote:sounds promising...although that cover is extremely dodgy !
Srsly. Why can't every movie be released by WB so they can have proper covers?

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Jeff
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#4 Post by Jeff » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:14 pm

Utterly fantastic news! The transfer of the current version is not great (lots of shimmering). That cover art leaves a lot to be desired (especially knowing that a Warner version would look like this), but the new transfer, commentary, and documentary more than make up for that!

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Person
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#5 Post by Person » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:37 pm

Great news. Shitty cover - highly innappropriate font and color of letters. It would give the first-time-viewer the impression that it's a light, bright and breezy screwball comedy shot in color.

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Via_Chicago
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#6 Post by Via_Chicago » Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:52 am

The cover also makes Shirley Maclaine look totally strange. Was there any more delightful an actress working in the late 50s and early 60s (just look at her performance in Artists and Models!)?

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Person
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#7 Post by Person » Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:46 pm

Shirley was a doll in her day. Today, she may have lost her looks, but she's still awesome. Anyone who thinks that the Earth is hollow and is inhabited by an ultra-advanced people is okay with me.

OliverB
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#8 Post by OliverB » Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:40 pm

Somebody really needs to contact MGM about that abomination that is the cover art... it's by far the most repulsive packaging I've seen on any film of this quality! I really hope it gets changed.

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reaky
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#9 Post by reaky » Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:24 pm

Other candidates for this award are Hawks's TWENTIETH CENTURY (which has actually stopped me from buying it) and Tourneur's NIGHT OF THE DEMON.
Ugh.
Ack.

OliverB
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#10 Post by OliverB » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:13 pm

Both are terrible, but neither as horrendous as this thing!

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souvenir
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#11 Post by souvenir » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:53 pm

DVD Beaver comparison shows a terrific improvement over the previous release.

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#12 Post by jaredsap » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:28 pm

souvenir wrote:DVD Beaver comparison shows a terrific improvement over the previous release.
Thanks. I wasted more time today than I'd care to admit trying to find a site to confirm that the transfer is improved. Excellent news, and now a necessary purchase.

This bodes well for the upcoming 12 ANGRY MEN disc.

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Person
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#13 Post by Person » Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:54 pm

A substantial improvement, definitely. But I'll never, ever, ever warm to that cover. That was an abysmal lapse of taste by MGM/Fox.

OliverB
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#14 Post by OliverB » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:09 am

Somebody needs to make an alternate cover that we could print out as replacement!

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Matango
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#15 Post by Matango » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:10 am

I've been into HMV about six or eight times with half a mind to pick this up, but every time I pull it off the shelf and see that cover, I just can't bring myself to have something that hideous in the house. An alternative cover would be welcome.

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Person
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#16 Post by Person » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:11 pm

I received my copy today.

On rewatching The Apartment, it deeply sank into me how masterful this film is. The pacing, the tone, the length of takes, the uncluttered mise en scene; it all seems so perfectly executed. For a mainstream American film from 1960, it really is quite something in its seriousness. But that seriousness is coupled so deftly with humour that I find it quite extraordinary overall. A hell of a film. Without question, a towering landmark in American Cineama. Hail to Izzy, Billy and Jack. How radically different an age we now live when one sees what was once possible.

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#17 Post by fiddlesticks » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:46 pm

Rose likes it too.

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#18 Post by Jack Phillips » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:13 pm

Watching it again last night what struck me was how like a play it is. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing, necessarily.

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Jeff
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#19 Post by Jeff » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:17 pm

Person wrote:The pacing, the tone, the length of takes, the uncluttered mise en scene; it all seems so perfectly executed.
I've always felt that Wilder is underrated in this regard. He gets a lot more credit as a writer than a director, but he has such control of tone and pace, and I think that he is responsible for some of the most beautifully framed shots in cinema (some of my favorites anyway).

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Belmondo
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#20 Post by Belmondo » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:36 am

Jeff wrote:
Person wrote:The pacing, the tone, the length of takes, the uncluttered mise en scene; it all seems so perfectly executed.
I've always felt that Wilder is underrated in this regard. He gets a lot more credit as a writer than a director, but he has such control of tone and pace, and I think that he is responsible for some of the most beautifully framed shots in cinema (some of my favorites anyway).
I completely agree, and ... call me madcap, but, I felt Rose McGowan also made a nice point when she said that she can enjoy the movie when she "feels lonely and blue, or happy and upbeat." More profound than it sounds - I often choose movies based on the mood I'm in - this one seems to transcend that.

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devlinnn
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#21 Post by devlinnn » Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:40 am

I've always loved, loved, loved it - and especially (now that I'm older) the sly, profound smile Shirley gives Jack while shufflin' at the end. It's the smile of a woman not in love, but emotionally way above the shmuck she's currently with, making do, until A. he grows up a little, or B. a better Wilder script for a (normal) woman comes along (which in a way it did with Avanti!). 'Cause there's no way in hell is she going to be baking cakes for Christmas.

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david hare
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#22 Post by david hare » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:11 am

Yes, The Apartment is a piercing masterpiece about relationships.

Not the least of the garbage going on, which Wilder observes with total sang-froid, is the Fred MacMurray/Lemmon partnership which seems to hinge on personal sexual favours between the two of them. IN whatever form.

Look, along with a couple of other pictures during the 60s whe he seems to be teetering Wilder is totally at the top of the game. And it aint Lubtitsch. Incredibly and unexpectedly he turns up the end of the sixties with his final masterpiece Sherlock Holmes. This is an incredible piece of work. In order to get through to even basic heterosexual passion he obliges the two male leads to go through the historical uproar of gay "exposure" (in the Tchaikovskian Ballet interlude which he films with a formally thrilling mise en scene he hasn't shown since the forties). And then ends the narrative part of this with a finale from including the glorious Genevieve Page, the Violin obbligato by Rosza, and completely sublime photography by Chris Challis. And ellipses Holmes' great love affair into about five minutes.

Along with Avanti I also love Fedora but I really wish there was a decent DVD.

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Michael
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#23 Post by Michael » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:21 pm

WOWOWOW Holy fuck. :shock: Just finished watching Apartment a few minutes ago. I'm left totally speechless. So in awe of that movie. Where to start?!

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mfunk9786
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#24 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:48 am

Watched this for the first time ever last night, just one of those films that's eluded me until now. Obviously, I have to give this one a bit of time to digest before I make any bold statements...

Eh, fuck it. I think it's instantly become my favorite film.

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justeleblanc
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#25 Post by justeleblanc » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:42 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Watched this for the first time ever last night, just one of those films that's eluded me until now. Obviously, I have to give this one a bit of time to digest before I make any bold statements...

Eh, fuck it. I think it's instantly become my favorite film.
Every so often I rewatch the film and find myself wanting to rewatch a lot of other Wilders as well and play catch up with those I still haven't seen.

For a while, I think Wilder was using Lubitsch a lot to play with paramours (Major and the Minor and Love in the Afternoon come to mind) and while there is Lubitsch in The Apartment, it mixes incredibly with with Wilder's cynicism. Kiss Me, Stupid does this brilliantly as well, but The Apartment stays lighter on its feet when it dances around these subjects.

The dialog is also top notch.

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