Actors in The Apartment (1960)

in hive-133716 •  3 months ago 
Just some thoughts around actors, and their acting in The Apartment (1960).

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Directed by one of the greatest classic Hollywood Directors, Billy Wilder, The Apartment won several Oscar awards, including being the last Black and White film to win the Oscar for Best Picture, until The Artist (2011) came on. That record lasted almost 50 years.

However, it also won the Oscar for the Best Screenplay, as should be, since it waz terrific. But there's some interesting things to look up on it. You know, Actors in films, well, they do improvisation. See um, Just acting out the written script on the Director's command is not the only job of Actors, at least Good Actors. They sometimes improvise dialogues on their own, and this happens more than you and I would Imagine. I mean, if you've watched Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010), somewhere near end, Ariadne screams "Improvisation", meaning that she changed the plan a little for greater good. Hell, Gasper Noe's 2018 was a scriptless film. Everything was improvised from beginning to the end. The actors were asked to say whatever they want on camera. That's one crazy filmmaking but it turned out amazing nonetheless.

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Jack Lemmon as CC Baxter

However, in the case of The Apartment (1960), the actors were strictly not allowed to improvise at all, except for the lead character actor, Jack Lemmon. It sounds like mommy, but this just might be the case that earned The Apartment the oscar award for the Best Screenplay, and a legacy being one of the greatest screenplays ever written.

I watched an interview with one of the cast, precisely the woman whom CC Baxter takes home after drinking in the bar. She says in the scene where she describes her husband near the entrance staircase of the apartment, the line goes "like a chihuahua", but she naturally said "kind of like a chihuahua", and the director and writer did not let her go on. She said that they insisted on going exactly according to the script, nothing changed. I heard somewhere that also Shirley MacLaine who played the lead Ms. Fran Kubelik also got many interruptions regarding her ad-libs while performing.

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Ms. Kubelik and CC Baxter

Stepping into Shirley MacLaine, The Apartment may be the turning point of her career. I'm not very sure about this, but all the films I came across were made past 1960. As I pointed out to girlfriend as well, She's extremely beautiful in this film,in her short hair. I would even call this as an example of Perfect Casting in cinema. Will never be the same without her.

Jack Lemmon, well, is a Legend. And watching The Apartment is enough to understand that. The comedic of the Apartment mostly comes from the insane comedic timing of Lemmon. As I said before, he was the only one allowed to improvise while performing, and the Director sure knew his actor and what he was doing. Lemmon's performance pulls out one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time, if not the absolute Best.

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Ms. Kubelik and Mr. Sheldrake

Fred .,...., is starring as Mr. Sheldrake, the executive boss of all in the wall street whatever company. This too, is an excellent casting choice in my opinion. His strong standing persona is a perfect fit for the role, and nailed the character of a the corrupt executive in a gentleman mask. I also met Fred.... In the 1944 film Double Indemnity, but that time, as the Lead Character. If I'm not terribly mistaken, that too was a film by Billy Wilder?

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