The Apartment

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The Apartment is a 1960 film about an ambitious insurance clerk whose fast track to an executive suite gets derailed when he becomes involved with his boss's latest girlfriend.

Directed by Billy Wilder. Written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond.
Movie-wise, there has never been anything like "The Apartment" love-wise, laugh-wise or otherwise-wise!

Calvin Clifford (C. C.) "Bud" Baxter[edit]

  • On November 1, 1959, the population of New York City was 8,042,783. If you laid all these people end to end, figuring an average height of five feet six and a half inches, they would reach from Times Square to the outskirts of Karachi, Pakistan. I know facts like this because I work for an insurance company - Consolidated Life of New York. We're one of the top five companies in the country. Our home office has 31,259 employees, which is more than the entire population of uhh... Natchez, Mississippi. I work on the 19th floor. Ordinary Policy Department, Premium Accounting Division, Section W, desk number 861.
  • As for myself, I very often stay on at the office and work for an extra hour or two, especially when the weather is bad. It's not that I'm overly ambitious, it's just a way of killing time, until it's all right for me to go home. You see, I have this little problem with my apartment...I live in the West Sixties, just half a block from Central Park. My rent is $85 a month. It used to be eighty until last July when Mrs. Lieberman (Frances Lax), the landlady, put in a second-hand air conditioning unit. It's a real nice apartment - nothing fancy - but kind of cozy - just right for a bachelor. The only problem is - I can't always get in when I want to.
  • Y'know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe. I mean shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand and there you were.

Fran Kubelik[edit]

  • How could I be so stupid? You would think I should have learned by now. When you're in love with a married man you shouldn't wear mascara.
  • Why do people have to love people anyway?
  • Some people take, some people get took. And they know they're getting took and there's nothing they can do about it.
  • I wonder how long it takes to get someone you're stuck on out of your system. They should invent a pump for that.


Fran: I never catch colds.
Bud: Really. I was reading some figures from the Sickness and Accident Claims Division. You know that the average New Yorker between the ages of twenty and fifty has two and a half colds a year?
Fran: That makes me feel just terrible.
Bud: Why?
Fran: Well, to make the figures come out even, if I have no colds a year, some poor slob must have five colds a year.
Bud: [sheepishly] Yeah... it's me.

Sylvia: Wives are getting smarter all the time. Take Mr. Bernheim -- in the Claims Department -- came home one night with lipstick on his shirt -- told his wife he had a shrimp cocktail for lunch -- so she took it out to the lab and had it analyzed -- so now she has the house in Great Neck and the children and the new Jaguar...
Kirkeby: Don't you ever stop talking?

Sheldrake: Tell me, Baxter -- just what is it that makes you so popular?
Bud: I don't know.
Sheldrake: Think.
Bud: Would you mind repeating the question?
Sheldrake: Look, Baxter, I'm not stupid. I know everything that goes on in this building -- in every department -- on every floor -- every day of the year.
Bud: You do?
Sheldrake: What kind of joint are you running?
Bud: Sir?
Sheldrake: There's a certain key floating around the office -- from Kirkeby to Vanderhof to Eichelberger to Dobisch -- it's the key to a certain apartment -- and you know who that apartment belongs to?
Bud: Who?
Sheldrake: Loyal, cooperative, resourceful C. C. Baxter.

Sheldrake: Baxter, an insurance company is founded on public trust. Any employee who conducts himself in a manner unbecoming...How many charter members are there in this little club of yours?
Bud: Just those four - out of a total of 31,259 - so actually, we can be very proud of our personnel - percentage-wise.
Sheldrake: That's not the point. Four rotten apples in a barrel - no matter how large the barrel - you realize that if this ever leaked out...
Bud: Oh, it won't. Believe me. And it's not going to happen again. From now on, nobody is going to use my apartment.
Sheldrake: Now remember, Baxter - this is going to be our little secret.
Bud: Yes, of course.
Sheldrake: You know how people talk.
Bud: Oh, you don't have to worry.
Sheldrake: Not that I have anything to hide.
Bud: Oh, no sir. Certainly not. Anyway, it's none of my business - four apples, five apples - what's the difference - percentage-wise?

Fran: For a while there, you try kidding yourself that you're going with an unmarried man. Then one day he keeps looking at his watch, and asks you if there's any lipstick showing, then rushes off to catch the seven-fourteen to White Plains. So you fix yourself a cup of instant coffee and you sit there by yourself, and you think and it all begins to look so ugly.
Sheldrake: How do you think I felt, riding home on that seven-fourteen train?
Fran: Why do you keep calling me, Jeff? What do you want from me?
Sheldrake: I want you back, Fran.
Fran: Sorry, Mr. Sheldrake, I'm full up. You'll have to take the next elevator.

Sheldrake: Do you remember what we talked about?...I mean about my getting a divorce.
Fran: We didn't talk about it, Jeff, you did.
Sheldrake: You didn't really believe me, did you?
Fran: They got it on a long-playing record now. Music to String Her Along By. My wife doesn't understand me. We haven't gotten along for years. You're the best thing that ever happened to me.
Sheldrake: That's enough, Fran.
Fran: Just trust me, baby. We'll work it out somehow.
Sheldrake: You're not being funny.
Fran: I wasn't trying.
Sheldrake: Fran, if you'll just listen to me for a minute.
Fran: All right, I'm sorry.
Sheldrake: I saw my lawyer this morning. I wanted his advice about the best way to handle it.
Fran: Handle what?
Sheldrake: What do you think?
Fran: Let's get something straight, Jeff. I never asked you to leave your wife.
Sheldrake: Of course not. You had nothing to do with it.
Fran: Are you sure that's what you want?
Sheldrake: I'm sure. If you'll just tell me that you still love me.
Fran: You know I do.

Sheldrake: You know, you see a girl a couple of times a week, just for laughs, and right away, they think you're gonna divorce your wife. Now I ask you - is that fair?
Bud: No, sir, it's very unfair, especially to your wife.

Bud: Well, as a matter of fact, I was rather hurt that night you stood me up.
Fran: I don't blame you, it was unforgivable.
Bud: I forgive you.
Fran: Well, you shouldn't.
Bud: You couldn't help yourself. I mean, when you're having a drink with one man, you can't suddenly walk out on him because you're having another date with another man. You did the only decent thing.
Fran: I wouldn't be too sure. Just because I wear a uniform, that doesn't make me a Girl Scout.
Bud: Miss Kubelik, one doesn't get to be a second administrative assistant around here unless he's a pretty good judge of character, and as far as I'm concerned, you're tops, I mean, decency-wise, and otherwise-wise.

Bud: The mirror... It's broken.
Fran: Yes, I know. I like it that way. Makes me look the way I feel.

Fran: Would you mind opening the window?
Bud: Now don't go getting any ideas, Miss Kubelik.
Fran: I just want some fresh air.
Bud: It's only one story down. The best you can do is break a leg.
Fran: So they'll shoot me - like a horse.
Bud: Please, Miss Kubelik, you got to promise me you won't do anything foolish.
Fran: Who'd care?
Bud: I would.
Fran: Why can't I ever fall in love with somebody nice like you?
Bud: Yeah, well, that's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise.

Fran: Shall I light the candles?
Bud: It's a must! Gracious-living-wise.

Bud: [to himself, practicing what he will say to Sheldrake] I've got good news for you. All your troubles are over. I'm gonna take Miss Kubelik off your hands. The plain fact is, I-I love her. I haven't told her yet, I thought you should be the first to know. After all, you don't really want her, and I do, and although it may sound presumptuous, she needs somebody like me. So I think it would be the best thing all around - solution-wise.
[in Sheldrake's office]
Sheldrake: I've got good news for you, Baxter. All your troubles are over...I know how worried you were about Miss Kubelik. Well, stop worrying. I'm going to take her off your hands.

Bud: You're not gonna bring anybody to my apartment.
Sheldrake: I'm not just bringing anybody. I'm bringing Miss Kubelik.
Bud: Especially not Miss Kubelik.
Sheldrake: How's that again?
Bud: No key.
Sheldrake: Baxter, I picked you for my team because I thought you were a very bright young man. You realize what you're doing? Not to me, but to yourself. Normally, it takes years to work your way up to the 27th floor, but it only takes 30 seconds to be out on the street again. You dig?
Bud: I dig.
Sheldrake: So what's it going to be? [Bud reaches into his pocket for a key and drops it on the desk] Now you're being bright.
Bud: Thank you, sir.
Sheldrake: Say, Baxter, you gave me the wrong key.
Bud: No, I didn't.
Sheldrake: But this is the key to the executive washroom.
Bud: That's right, Mr. Sheldrake. I won't be needing it, because I'm all washed up around here.
Sheldrake: What's gotten into you, Baxter?
Bud: Just following doctor's orders. I've decided to become a mensch. You know what that means? A human being.
Sheldrake: Now hold on, Baxter.
Bud: Save it. The old payola won't work anymore. Goodbye, Mr. Sheldrake.

Sheldrake: I didn't plan it this way, Fran. Actually, it's all Baxter's fault.
Fran: Baxter?
Sheldrake: He wouldn't give me the key to the apartment.
Fran: He wouldn't.
Sheldrake: Just walked out on me - quit - threw that big fat job right in my face.
Fran: [a faint smile] The nerve.
Sheldrake: That little punk - after all I did for him! He said I couldn't bring anybody to his apartment, especially not Miss Kubelik. What's he got against you, anyway?
Fran I don't know... I guess that's the way it crumbles... cookie-wise.
Sheldrake: What are you talking about?
Fran: I'd spell it out for you, only I can't spell.

Bud: What about Mr. Sheldrake?
Fran: We'll send him a fruit cake every Christmas.

Bud: [playing cards] I love you, Miss Kubelik...Did you hear what I said, Miss Kubelik? I absolutely adore you.
Fran: [smiling] Shut up and deal!


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