The Apartment

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.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Production: United Artists
  Won 5 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
125 min


A man's hand is punching out a series of figures on the


BUD (V.O.)

On November first, 1959, the

population of New York City was

8,042,783. if you laid all these

people end to end, figuring an

average height of five feet six and

a half inches, they would reach

from Times Square to the outskirts

of Karachi, Pakistan. I know facts

like this because I work for an

insurance company --


It's a big mother, covering a square block in lower

Manhattan, all glass and aluminum, jutting into the leaden


BUD (V.O.)

-- Consolidated Life of New York.

We are one of the top five companies

in the country -- last year we

wrote nine-point-three billion

dollars worth of policies. Our

home office has 31,259 employees --

which is more than the entire

population of Natchez, Mississippi,

of Gallup, New Mexico.


Acres of gray steel desk, gray steel filing cabinets, and

steel-gray faces under indirect light. One wall is lined

with glass-enclosed cubicles for the supervisory personnel.

It is all very neat, antiseptic, impersonal. The only human

tough is supplied by a bank of IBM machines, clacking away

cheerfully in the background.

BUD (V.O.)

I work on the nineteenth floor --

Ordinary Policy Department -

Premium Accounting Division -

Section W -- desk number 861.

DESK 861

Like every other desk, it has a small name plate attached to

the side. This one reads C.C. BAXTER.

BUD (V.O.)

My name is C.C. Baxter - C. for

Calvin, C. for Clifford -- however,

most people call me Bud. I've been

with Consolidated Life for three

years and ten months. I started in

the branch office in Cincinnati,

then transferred to New York. My

take-home pay is $94.70 a week, and

there are the usual fringe benefits.

BAXTER is about thirty, serious, hard-working, unobtrusive.

He wears a Brooks Brothers type suit, which he bought

somewhere on Seventh Avenue, upstairs. There is a stack of

perforated premium cards in front of him, and he is totaling

them on the computing machine. He looks off.


It shows 5:
19. With a click, the minute hand jumps to 5:20,

and a piercing bell goes off.

BUD (V.O.)

The hours in our department are

50 to 5:20 --


Instantly all work stops. Papers are being put away,

typewriters and computing machines are covered, and everybody

starts clearing out. Within ten seconds, the place is

empty -- except for Bud Baxter, still bent over his work,

marooned in a sea of abandoned desks.

BUD (V.O.)

-- they're staggered by floors, so

that sixteen elevators can handle

the 31,259 employees without a

serious traffic jam. As for

myself, I very often stay on at the

office and work for an extra hour

or two -- especially when the

weather is bad. It's not that I'm

overly ambitious -- it's just a way

of killing time, until it's all

right for me to go home.

You see, I have this little problem

with my apartment --



Bud, wearing a weather-beaten Ivy League raincoat and a

narrow-brimmed brown hat, comes walking slowly down the

street skirting the puddles on the sidewalk. He stops in

front of a converted brownstone, looks up.

BUD (V.O.)

I live in the West Sixties - just

half a block from Central Park. My

rent is $84 a month. It used to be

eighty until last July when Mrs.

Lieberman, the landlady, put in a

second-hand air conditioning unit.

The windows on the second floor are lit, but the shades are

drawn. From inside drifts the sound of cha cha music.

BUD (V.O.)

It's a real nice apartment -

nothing fancy -- but kind of

cozy -- just right for a bachelor.

The only problem is - I can't

always get in when I want to.


What used to be the upstairs parlor of a one-family house in

the early 1900's has been chopped up into living room,

bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. The wallpaper is faded, the

carpets are threadbare, and the upholstered furniture could

stand shampooing. There are lots of books, a record player,

stacks of records, a television set (21 inches and 24

payments), unframed prints from the Museum of Modern Art

(Picasso, Braque, Klee) tacked up on the walls.

Only one lamp is lit, for mood, and a cha cha record is

spinning around on the phonograph. On the coffee table in

front of the couch are a couple of cocktail glasses, a

pitcher with some martini dregs, an almost empty bottle of

vodka, a soup bowl with a few melting ice cubes at the

bottom, some potato chips, an ashtray filled with cigar

stubs and lipstick-stained cigarette butts, and a woman's


Rate this script:3.4 / 5 votes

Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist, whose career spanned more than fifty years and sixty films. more…

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Submitted by acronimous on September 04, 2016

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