Episode W861: The Apartment Complex

Anna sits in with Ben to once again revisit anniversary cinema and discuss Billy Wilder’s The Apartment on the event of its sixtieth anniversary. Does the romance hold up under contemporary power strictures, how has Mad Men influenced our opinions about office culture in the ’60s, and who knows anything about that mishegas down at Cape Canaveral?

Sources and References:

This whole episode came about because of an article in The Guardian on the event of the sixtieth anniversary of the the film’s NYC premiere.  Ben misspoke slightly when he said The Guardian listed The Apartment as the number six in its list of top 25 comedies — it’s the sixth rated romance in their 2010 master listings, whereas there is no number six in their top 25 comedies, as Dr. Strangelove and The Ladykillers tied for spot number five.

The interview with Marilyn Monroe was by Hedda Hopper, and appeared as part of a syndicated piece from the Chicago Tribune/NY News service printed in the Los Angeles Times on June 22, 1958.  Newspapers.com will gladly charge you up the wazoo to read it.  It’s not as explicit at joining the dots as Ben makes it sound, but does something between a puff piece and a hatchet-job at showing both how hard she works as an actress and how difficult her reputation has become.

History Matters has the original version of the Hays Code, while DH Writings has a complex version, multi-column version that contains dated emendations, examples of violations of the code, and the rationale or explanation behind sections.

Nick Carr’s location scouting blog was the source for the discovery that despite the address Mr. Sheldrake gives the cabbie, that the exterior of Baxter’s apartment is 55 West 67th Street.  The fact that an apartment at that exact location had just gone on sale for a cost starting at around $2,600 was in a Google Cache of this listing, and the fact that Bud’s $85 a week rent would be about the same today came from this inflation calendar.

The box office for The Apartment according to The Numbers is 18 million 6, respectable, but not nearly the success that Ben mentioned with regards to Wilder’s earlier effort, Some Like It Hot, to which this film feels like a response in terms of control of actors, editing, and scope.

My nerd friend group traditionally refers to TVTropes as one of the easiest websites to click on one link and then emerge, blinking, several hours later, unsuspectingly having been pulled into a hyperlink vortex. So if you follow up on our look at the Race for your Love! trope of film characters running toward a romantic climax, do so at your own risk.  Speaking of internet black-holes, the original source for the Leo Dating Chart before it got memed out into the wider pop culture sphere, was Reddit.

The Merriam-Webster entry on the history and recent re-emergence of the term “bluebearding“.

A review of Katie Finneran doing a bang-up job as Mrs. Margie MacDougall came from this review of the 2010 revival of Promises, Promises.

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