The Apartment at FACT

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

The Apartment at FACT, City Centre 1 December 2019 Tickets from £8 — Book now

It is no coincidence that two of Jack Lemmon’s most enduring comedic performances were in films by Billy Wilder. He plays a hysterical fish-out-of-water alongside Tony Curtis as one half of Some Like It Hot’s gender-swapping double act, but he’s greater still in The Apartment, Wilder’s melancholy Christmastime sex comedy. Released in 1960, Lemmon plays C. C. Baxter, a low level New York office clerk who earns favour at work by lending his apartment to sleazy executives looking to cheat on their wives.

Baxter is a retiring type, in love from afar with Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), the kind young woman who operates the office building elevator. Of course Fran’s having an affair with Baxter’s boss, Mr. Sheldrake, played by a deliciously slimy Fred MacMurray, who asks Baxter for the keys to his place. Cue a miserable drunken Christmas party where Lemmon’s miserable sop drowns his sorrow in raucous dive bars, where sounds of champagne corks and party poppers only emphasise his sorrow.

Baxter arrives home to find Kubelik, dumped by her lover, has attempted suicide in his apartment. It is a dark turn for what is now considered a Christmas classic, but Billy Wilder’s delicate touch balances proceedings as two lost souls spend a quiet Christmas and New Year in reflection and recuperation. Amongst themes of urban isolation and dehumanising industry, the director finds space for farce and physical comedy. From the chaos of Baxter trying to schedule use of his apartment according to executive seniority, to Lemmon’s performance straining spaghetti with a tennis racquet, there is a reason audiences return.

The Apartment at FACT, City Centre 1 December 2019 Tickets from £8 Book now

What's on at FACT

An image captured from overhead of two men embracing. One is seated, and the other is kneeling.
Until
ExhibitionsLiverpool
On the other side at FACT

‘On the other side’ at FACT presents the work of three artists, thoroughly examining themes of authority, power and control.

free entry

Where to go near The Apartment at FACT

City Centre
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Food From Nowhere

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Bold Street Coffee

A super cool cafe at the top of Bold Street, Bold Street Coffee in Liverpool serves a range of specialist coffee, cakes and sandwiches.

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Maray

Much-loved Liverpool restaurant, specialising in forward-thinking small plate dishes.

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LEAF on Bold Street

Keeping Bold Street a hub of creativity, LEAF is more than a tearoom, it’s also a bar and thriving event space with a packed schedule of upcoming happenings.

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Arts Club Liverpool

Based in Liverpool’s old Royal Institute of Arts and Science building, Liverpool Arts Club is a great spot to catch small touring acts.

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The Jacaranda Club

Originally owned by Allan Williams, The Jacaranda was the first home of the Beatles and has been an important part of the Liverpool music scene since 1958.

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The Shipping Forecast

Cooler-than-thou yet immensely comforting, this pub does it all: chilled mornings, lazy afternoons and music-filled nights.

What's on: Cinema

Until
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Jewish Culture Club

Meet new people, explore contemporary cultural works and learn about Jewish culture with Jewish Culture Club at Manchester Jewish Museum.

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Into the Melting Pot at Manchester Jewish Museum: A photograph showing a theatre stage. On the right side we can see a woman in a pink hijab with a travel bag in her hand. She has a yellow star pinned to her black blouse. She looks concerned. In the background there is a group of 5 musicians playing medieval instruments.
CinemaManchester
Into the Melting Pot at Manchester Jewish Museum

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