Billy Wilder’s abiding, humane and Oscar-laden film has enough moments of melancholia and intensity amidst its many laughs that it seems inadequate to describe it as merely a comedy. Jack Lemmon is at his everyman best as C.C. Baxter, a lowly clerk at an insurance company who is keen to climb the corporate ladder, but is too nice a guy to be taken seriously. His superiors take advantage of his good nature and his apartment, which is convenient for their extramarital liaisons. When the object of C.C.’s affection, lift girl Fran (Shirley MacLaine), becomes embroiled in an affair with company director Jeff D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), C.C. bears painful witness, until events take a turn one Christmas Eve. (Notes by Michael Hayden)
This is screening as part of IFI Festive Favourites, our season of family favourites and classics in December.