courtesy United Artists/Photofest

The Apartment

Sun Dec 30, 4pm
Presented by: National Gallery of Art
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Washington premiere of digital restoration

Billy Wilder’s 1960 comedy of manners — set in a New York firm where the women are prey for the higher-ups and bosses borrow low-level Bud Baxter’s apartment for “nooners” — won five Oscars and, more notably, “touched a contemporary, and possibly raw, nerve,” wrote historian Charles Silver. While witty dialogue and caustic commentary are Wilder trademarks, laurels truly go to the extraordinary ensemble cast headed by Jack Lemmon who, as Bud Baxter, moves from milquetoast to mensch during the holiday season, as well as Shirley MacLaine as the amiable elevator operator who cheerfully masks her melancholy. (Billy Wilder, 1960, 125 minutes)

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