Pimping, prostitution, bribery, blackmail, urban alienation, suicide – got to be a comedy, right? Well, a Billy Wilder comedy anyway.
No one does the pitchblack flipside of funny like Wilder, and 1960’s The Apartment is the darkest he ever made.
Plus it’s got Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine on top form, Fred MacMurray as the corporate bastard, and a script from Wilder and regular cowriter Izzy Diamond that takes so many jabs at US capitalism, you wonder how they escaped blacklisting as Commies.
At times we’re just a whisker away from out-and-out tragedy. It’s a rare, brave comedy that’ll do that.