40 must-watch movies to consider yourself a film buff

17 of 41

The Apartment (1960)

We haven’t talked about great comic director Billy Wilder yet. Wilder’s features were regarded as deft and witty features filled with crackling dialogue, strong acting, and a hefty play on sexual politics. The year before he made The Apartment, he released Some Like It Hot, which many consider the best Wilder film (and I’d be inclined to agree).

However, the movie he opened the ‘60s with is just as important. The Apartment is the story of two lonely people: ad executive C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) and elevator operator Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine). For C.C. he’s only concerned with rising up the corporate ladder, which is happening fast as he loans out his apartment to his superiors, all of whom use it as a love nest for their mistresses.

But when C.C. falls for Fran, his apartment becomes a battleground since his new lady love is dating his married boss. The Apartment is bleak at times, and it’s one of the few features to actively vilify Amerca’s favorite TV dad at the time, played by Fred MacMurray, who also starred in My Three Sons on TV starting that year. But through the expert blend of humor and heart, Wilder creates something unique that’s worth your time and attention.

Where to Watch It: Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, and Apple have it to rent.