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Description

C. C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is a lonely office drone for an insurance company in New York City. Four different company managers take turns commandeering Baxter's apartment, which is located on West 67th Street on the Upper West Side, for their various extramarital liaisons. Unhappy with the situation, but unwilling to challenge them directly, he juggles their conflicting demands while hoping to catch the eye of fetching elevator operator Miss Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine). Meanwhile the neighbors in the apartment building, a medical doctor and his wife, assume Baxter is a "good time Charlie" who gets a different woman drunk every night. Baxter accepts their criticism rather than reveal the truth.

The four managers write glowing reports about Baxter — a little too glowing, so personnel director Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) suspects something illicit behind the praise. Mr. Sheldrake lets Baxter's promotion go unchallenged on condition that Baxter's apartment accept him as a fifth regular customer. Still delighted about his promotion, Baxter asks Miss Kubelik to a Broadway show. She agrees, then stands him up. Later, on Christmas Eve, Baxter is astounded to come home and find her in his bed, fully clothed, and overdosed on sleeping pills. Mr. Sheldrake had borrowed Baxter's apartment for the evening and evidently left Miss Kubelik there. Baxter and his neighbour the doctor keep Miss Kubelik alive and safe without notifying the authorities. She explains that she had an affair with Mr. Sheldrake the previous summer, ended it when his wife returned from vacation, and caved in to his appeals and promises later in the fall. When Sheldrake offered her money instead of a Christmas present she realized the ugliness of the situation and tried to commit suicide. The act shows a startling side of her usually sunny personality. Baxter tries to comfort her with assurances of Sheldrake's concern, but she refuses to speak to him on the telephone.

Kubelik recuperates in Baxter's apartment for two days, long enough for her taxi driver brother-in-law to assume the worst of Baxter and come to blows. Sheldrake's catty secretary, one of his former mistresses, finally "educates" Mrs. Sheldrake about her husband's infidelities. Faced with divorce, Sheldrake moves into a room at his athletic club and continues to string Kubelik along while he enjoys his newfound bachelorhood. Baxter finally takes a stand when Sheldrake demands the apartment for New Year's Eve, which results in Baxter quitting the firm. Kubelik realizes that Baxter is the man who truly loves her, and she leaves Sheldrake on New Year's Eve to be with Baxter that evening and runs to him. They end as two misfits, both out of a job, playing a game of gin rummy. When Baxter declares his love for Kubelik, her reply is the now-famous final line of the movie: "Shut up and deal."

Film Info

(2013)
2 min 17 sec Duration
37,913 views
  • Posted: September 22, 2009
  • Director: Billy Wilder
  • Writer: Billy Wilder
  • Studio: United Artists
  • Release: June 15,1960
  • Cast: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray

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