Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1960. The Mirisch Corporation. Screenplay by Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond. Cinematography by Joseph LaShelle. Produced by Billy Wilder. Music by Adolph Deutsch. Production Design by Alexandre Trauner. Costume Design by Forrest T. Butler, Irene Caine. Film Editing by Daniel Mandell. Academy Awards 1960. Golden Globe Awards 1960.
Jack Lemmon excels as a low-level office worker who, on occasion, lends his bachelor apartment to philandering business superiors to use for trysts with their mistresses. Unbeknownst to him, one of them (Fred MacMurray) is going there with the elevator girl who has caught Lemmon’s eye (Shirley MacLaine in the best American female role of the sixties). The romance is witty and wise, the drama is acidic and dark, and somehow with Billy Wilder’s magic involved, one always seems to complement the other without it ever getting uncomfortable or uneven. Absolute perfection.