The Grass is Greener (1960)

Victor Rhyall, played by Cary Grant and his beautiful wife Lady Hilary Rhyall, played by Deborah Kerr, lead a quiet and steady life in a big estate inside a mansion.

Guided tours to the mansion were allowed to overcome their financial trouble. One such visit day, an oil tycoon Charles Delacro played by Robert Mitchum, visits the place and accidentally enters a private room of the Rhyalls.

Although Hilary tries to make him understand about the place being non-public, one can sense an attraction developing between the two by the conversations they indulge in. After some time, it is inevitable, Hilary is attracted to Charles, and both wonder how they go about it next.

Victor meets Charles, and they both familiarise themselves over a cup of tea. A few days later, Hilary makes up a reason to meet Charles. Aware of what’s happening, Victor remains an optimist about his love for his wife coming to his rescue.

After spending few days with Charles, Hilary is surprised to see Victor acting normal despite knowing everything about her. He invites Charles to his place for a night out and settle scores with him and win back his wife. Victor and Charles carry out a lot of funny tests with guns and at the pool table. It’s funny.

Hilary feels embarrassed over the entire situation, and her behaviour being the main reason for all the unwanted drama. The movie ends when she realises and apologises to Victor, thus ending the short-timed ‘Love Triangle.’

The Grass is Greener, released in 1960, was directed by Stanley Donen. This romantic comedy fared poorly at the box office despite having big stars on board.

This also was the third association of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr pair, the previous two being An Affair to Remember and Dream Wife.

Jean Simmons plays Hilary’s friend and keeps the movie moving to believe it’s a quadrangular love story.

The Apartment (1960)

The last movie to win Oscar Best Picture in Black ‘n’ White was this movie. Of course, it was before Schindler’s list (1993). The Apartment made in 1960 was classic with reputed performers like Jack Lemmon (I can’t stop ravishing about him), Shirley Maclaine, aptly directed by Billy Wilder. This was a follow up from his previous smash hit comedy ‘Some Like it Hot.’

I was in tears because I was touched by Jack Lemmon’s simplicity, suppressing his feelings. The feelings when his boss, played by Fred McMurray, out of his marriage has an affair with Shirley Maclaine, and he can stand and do nothing about it.

The Apartment is in demand for few employees working at an insurance company in New York. The Apartment belongs to Mr. C.C Baxter, played by Jack Lemmon. To climb up the corporate ladder, he lends his Apartment to his fellow selected higher officials to spend time with their muses outside the house. The four managers keep their promise by paying positive appraisals to the personnel director, Mr. Sheldrake, played by Fred McMurray.

C.C Baxter is attracted to the elevator operator Miss Fran Kubelik played by Shirley Maclaine. It turns out, Mr. Sheldrake had sights on Miss Kubelik, and they were involved in a relationship, which ceases to have an identity.

Miss Kubelik cannot tolerate the mystery of their relationship in adverse circumstances, contemplating suicide and consuming sleeping pills at the Apartment.

C.C Baxter, to his shock, finds Miss Kubelik in a state of horror. Next few days, he consoles Miss Kubelik and even tries to bring a smile.

While his heroics of saving Mr. Sheldrake gave him a chance to become Asst. Director. He always dreamt of this position; now, he stalls himself to enjoy the newfound role.

Fast forward 37 years, Bollywood had its movie in Yes Boss, loosely inspired by the theme where Shahrukh Khan helped his boss Aditya Pancholi get Juhi Chawla in return for a better corporate future.

And in 2006, another Bollywood movie, ‘Life in a Metro’ finds a sub-plot similar to the screenplay of ‘The Apartment.’ Sharman Joshi does justice to his role identical to Jack Lemmon, while Kangana Ranaut and Kay Kay Menon play Shirley Maclaine and Fred McMurray to perfection.

However, according to director Billy Wilder, The Apartment was inspired when he had seen the movie ‘Brief encounter’ in 1945.

I like the ending scene.

It’s about the time when C.C Baxter and Miss Kubelik are about to start a game of cards.

C.C. Baxter: You hear what I said, Miss Kubelik? I absolutely adore you.

Fran Kubelik: Shut up and deal.