How much did you know about our cult classic Repeat Performance? How much did you know about Billy Wilder’s film The Apartment? Read on and see.
Let’s start with answers to questions relating to the former picture.
Question 1: The movie begins with a woman standing over the body of her dead spouse. The occasion is New Year’s Eve of 1946. What is she holding in her hand? a) A baseball bat; b) Compromising photos of the husband with another woman; c) A knife; or d) a gun.
Answer: As you can plainly see in the photos above, Joan Leslie is holding a (d) gun over her dead husband.
Question 2: Our heroine wishes she could relive the previous year that culminates in her husband’s death. How does she get her wish? a) By enunciating it exactly at midnight on New Year’s Eve; b) By consulting a fortune teller; c) By praying in a Roman Catholic cloister; or d) By imagining it.
Answer: a) Leslie’s character expresses her wish to relive the previous year exactly at the stroke of midnight of 1947. She is thus transported back to early 1946 when her husband was still alive and kicking. (Don’t ask.)
Question 3: Repeat Performance marked the movie debut of veteran actor Richard Basehart. a) True; or b) False?
Answer: True. He plays a poet with the unlikely monicker of William Williams.
Question 4: Did Joan Leslie’s character really murder her husband?
Answer: Sorry. You’ll have to see the picture to find out.
And now to The Apartment…..
Question 1: Jack Lemmon plays a lonely company drone who lends out his Upper West Side New York apartment to his corporate bosses for their extra-marital sexual trysts. What kind of company does Lemmon’s character work for? a) A pharmaceutical outfit; b) A Wall Street brokerage; c) An international industrial conglomerate; or d) An insurance company.
Answer: d) An insurance company.
Question 2: The 1960 movie, directed by Billy Wilder, revolves about the romantic interaction between Lemmon’s character with that of Shirley MacLaine’s. What is her job at the company where they work? a) An executive v.p.; b) A cleaning lady; c) An elevator operator; or d) A receptionist.
Answer: c) As indicated by the photo above, Shirley MacLaine’s character is an elevator operator.
Question 3: How exactly does New Year’s Eve figure into the plot of The Apartment? a) It occasions a simulated sexual orgy involving principal characters; b) It is the occasion when a philandering executive realizes that he has been financially fleeced; c) It is when Shirley MacLaine’s character realizes the true intentions of Lemmon’s character; d) None of the above.
Answer: A New Year’s Eve party is in the movie the occasion for a number of epiphanies including the realization by MacLaine’s character of the true intentions of Lemmon’s.
Question 4: The Apartment proved to be a box office hit but was never taken seriously by critics and the Motion Picture Academy. a) True; or b) False?
Answer: b) False. The picture was warmly received by both critics and the public. It was nominated 10 times for Oscars in various categories, including bids for Lemmon and MacLaine. It won the best picture nod and best director and best screenplay citations for Wilder (the latter shared with I.A.L. Diamond).