Classic Hollywood

Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in 1960's "The Apartment." (Bettman/Corbis / September 2, 2012)

Set in a small Budapest gift shop, the romantic comedy finds a young, hard-working salesman (Jimmy Stewart) resenting the newest clerk (Margaret Sullavan). The plot thickens when Stewart's character discovers that she's actually the anonymous pen pal he has fallen in love with through her letters.

What it says about work: Love can blossom on the shop floor.


"Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore": The world of the waitress was brought into the forefront in Martin Scorsese's 1974 comedy-drama. Ellen Burstyn won the lead actress Oscar as Alice Hyatt, struggling to make ends meet for herself and her son after her oafish husband dies.

Like many women of the time, the one-time aspiring singer gave up her dream for marriage. But now she's decided to leave New Mexico for California in hopes of pursuing her life's ambition. However, financial issues force her to take a job as a waitress at a Tucson diner. Though Alice is a bit unsteady as a waitress, she gradually bonds with her fellow waitresses, including the wise-cracking Flo (Diane Ladd) and begins to regain the self-confidence she lost during her marriage.

What it says about work: Your fellow workers can become a family.

Are you an aficionado of iconic Hollywood? Like our Classic Hollywood Facebook page to get more Times coverage.