I wasn’t sure if I was going to do a 12 Days of Christmas movie list this year. I thought I had used up all the movies that happened around Christmas that aren’t really Christmas movies and last year’s theme of movies about gifts really didn’t work. I couldn’t think of any themes that really impressed me. But it turns out I was wrong. There are still some great films that feature Christmas as a backdrop and are not really Christmas movies. Today’s film is The Apartment (1960).
Directed by the brilliant Billy Wilder and starring Jack Lemmon as a office worker who lends out his apartment to his various bosses who use it for some place that they can take their mistresses to. Shirley MacLaine is Lemmon’s co-worker who is having an affair with their boss Fred MacMurray (who despite starring in a half dozen Disney movies and the pleasant father in My Three Sons I’ll still never really believe he’s trustworthy after Double Indemnity).
Lemmon is infatuated with MacLaine but on Christmas Eve at the company party, everything becomes revealed as MacLaine discovers that she’s not the first mistress for MacMurray and Lemmon discovers the relationship between MacMurray and MacLaine.
Wilder made the film as a follow-up to his huge hit Some Like It Hot. This too was a huge box office hit and it also went on to win five Academy Awards including Best Picture.