Dec 282017

The Apartment is a great drama-romance-comedy classic excelling with the performances by Jack Lemmon (at his absolute best IMO) and Shirley MacClaine, set against the sharp script and direction from Billy Wilder.



The Apartment

Genre(s): Drama, Comedy, Romance
Arrow Academy | NR – 120 min. – $0.00 | December 19, 2017

Date Published: 12/28/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by: Billy Wilder
Writer(s): Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond (written by)
Cast: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray
Features: Commentary, Interviews, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (PCM 1.0), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: NA
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 4.5/5

Plot Synopsis: C.C. “Bud” Baxter (JACK LEMMON) is a lowly Manhattan office drone with a lucrative sideline in renting out his apartment of adulterous company bosses and their mistresses. When Bud enters into a similar arrangement with the firm’s personnel director, J.D. Sheldrake (FRED MACMURRAY), his career prospects begin to look up… and up. But when he discovers that Sheldrake’s mistress is Fran Kubelik (SHIRLEY MACLAINE), the girl of his dreams, he finds himself forced to choose between his career and the woman he loves…

Quick Hit Review: The Apartment is a movie I’ve always heard of and has been considered a classic but for whatever reason, never fully watched. Not sure why it took so long but this is one great drama-romance, with sprinkles of clever comedy, propelled by two charismatic performances from legendary actors Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, not to mention Fred MacMurray who to fans of My Three Sons plays against type.

But beyond the acting, the script by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is absolutely sharp and unlike some romantic-centric films today, is more subtle in its setups, such as the reveal when Baxter finds out his boss’s sidepiece that he took to his apartment was in fact is his crush. Amazing little scene which encapsulated Wilder/Diamond’s script which took home five Academy Awards including Picture, Director and Original Screenplay.



The disc is housed in the usual clear Arrow Video Blu-ray Keep Case which tucks inside a sturdy outer case. Also inside is a nice, hard-bound, 150-page book.

Audio Commentary – Film Producer and Historian Bruce Block. It’s a very clinical, straight-forward track giving out factoids on the film’s production, filming locations and other tidbits.

The Key to The Apartment (10:12; HD) is an appreciation (i.e. interview) with film historian Philip Kemp who also offers a Select Scene Commentary (8:37; HD).

The Flawed Couple (20:24; HD) is a new video essay by filmmaker David Cairns exploring the many collaborations between Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon.

A Letter to Castro (13:23; HD) – New interview with actress Hope Holiday who portrayed Margie MacDougall.

An Informal Conversation with Billy Wilder (23:17; SD) is an archival interview from the Writers Guild Foundation’s “Oral Histories” series, narrated by Jack Lemmon.

Restoration Showreel (2:20; HD) is a cool short featurette showing off the work done to restore this classic.

Theatrical Trailer (2:19; HD)

Archival Features (ported from the MGM DVD release):

  • Inside The Apartment (29:36; HD) – This is a 2007 making-of featurette with interviews by Shirley MacLaine, film historians, authors and others.
  • Magic Time: The Art of Jack Lemmon (12:47; HD) is a profile on the legendary actor, also from 2007.


VIDEO – 5.0/5

The Apartment comes to Blu-ray courtesy of Arrow Academy and is presented with a 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio. This is a new 1080p transfer taken from the original 35mm camera negative which itself was scanned in 4K resolution. As noted in the book, some sections of the original negative had been removed and replaced with duplicate negative element which resulted in a noticeable shift in quality. They utilized a separate 35mm fine grain positive and for scenes where the duplicates weren’t usable, these were used to replace. This was a very impressive transfer, free of any major scratches, dirt, and such and instead we get some natural film grain which leads to some excellent detail.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

The disc comes with two impressive tracks, one the default PCM Mono track and the second a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, and either option is perfectly suitable, the former for purists. Both tracks were provided by MGM so doubtful it underwent some sort of restoration, not that it needed it as dialogue did come through with good clarity.


OVERALL – 4.5/5

Overall, The Apartment is a great drama-romance-comedy classic excelling with the performances by Jack Lemmon (at his absolute best IMO) and Shirley MacClaine, set against the sharp script and direction from Billy Wilder. This Blu-ray release is top notch by Arrow Academy with some solid features and excellent video/audio transfers.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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