Baxter, a New York office worker, could have been the least noticeable of all the people on the service elevator every morning on their way to work and on the same way every evening at his enormous insurance company. If only the key to his bachelor pad, which makes the rounds among his bosses, didn't end up in the hands of personnel director Sheldrake, who has begun an affair with Fran, the elevator girl. Sheldrake gets the love shack for his secret liaisons, and Baxter gets a promotion. But love for Fran changes the clerk's life.
Immediately after the phenomenal success of "Some Like it Hot," Billy Wilder once again gave Jack Lemmon carte blanche. In his hands, the bumbling Baxter elicits both laughter and pity, which immediately yield to respect when Fran (Shirley MacLaine) appears in his life. "The Apartment" became one of Wilder's most awarded films: five wins out of ten Oscar nominations, including best film and best director.
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