Singer Steve, friend Seymour and fiance Jane, along with her dizzy blonde room mate Irma, have a series of misadventures on a California-bound train and end up involved with a gang of murderous gangsters in Las Vegas.
Herman owes a lot of gambling debts. To pay them off, he promises the mob he'll fix a horse, so that it does not run. He intends to trick his animal-loving cousin, Virgil, an apprentice ... See full summary »
Based on the long-running radio show. Irma is a likeable airhead who meddles in her roommate's love-life. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, in their first screen appearance, are juice-bar operators who are discovered when a self-proclaimed manager hears Martin's golden voice. Irma's roommate wants to marry her rich boss, but instead falls in love with Martin. Written by
Alfred Newman's ubiquitous theme "Street Scene", closely associated with every New York-themed film produced at Fox during his tenure as musical director at that studio, turns up in the opening of this film and its sequel, My Friend Irma Goes West (1950). See more »
When Irma (Marie Wilson) falls down the hole in the street in the first scene of the movie, a pair of hands can be seen catching her. See more »
[Hearing the telephone ringing after finding her ruined clothes]
I'll answer it, Mrs. O'Reilly. My feet are wet and I want to be sure I'll be electrocuted.
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See it for the debut of Martin & Lewis...whether or not you'll like Irma is debatable.
Irma (Marie Wilson) is a ditsy woman whose antics made Gracie Allen seem like an Einstein. Marie Wilson's dumb routine is one you'll either find funny or terribly annoying--I know it got on my nerves a bit after a while. However, even if you find this a bit tiresome, it's worth seeing just since it's the screen debut of the comedy team of Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis.
The film opens with Jane (the ever-cute Diana Lynn) narrating and describing her annoying roommate, Irma. Now considering just how annoying Irma is, you do wonder why Jane has anything to do with her--especially since her long-term fiancé, Al, is a greasy user (John Lund).
Al has just discovered a musical talent (Dean Martin) working with his friend (Jerry Lewis) at a local orange juice bar and although he knows NOTHING about the entertainment industry, lies and tells Martin he can make him a star! And, Al just assumes he can take advantage of Jane and get her to help put up Steve and Seymour (Martin & Lewis) in the tiny apartment. Naturally, you assume that after an inauspicious introduction that Jane and Steve will become sweethearts. However, Jane's new boss, Mr. Rhinelander (Don Defore), has ideas about her as well.
Al is able to actually help Steve by getting him a variety of engagements at restaurants and nightclubs--which is a bit surprising. With his beautiful voice, his success isn't all that surprising but what is surprising (in the film and in real life) is that people liked seeing and hearing his partner sing as well! So, a few times Steve's great songs are interrupted or 'enhanced' by Seymour's antics. Considering I usually hate musical numbers in comedies, the fact that I just wanted to hear Dean Martin's singing is a testament to his skills--as well as Lewis'! Some liked Jerry's singing...though to me it was just painful...very, very painful--though in real life Lewis did have a nice singing voice when not hamming it up.
As for the acting, I liked John Lund--he was pretty funny though not exactly subtle. Martin and Lynn were also good. As for Wilson and Lewis...well, they are more an acquired taste. I've seen Jerry Lewis better--and more subtle. As for Wilson...she's pretty much the ditz I saw her as in other films. The less said the better. The film, despite its limitations, is enjoyable and worth seeing if you are an old time comedy fan--though it's far from Martin & Lewis' best. Not great but it sure has its moments.
By the way, this film has a sequel, "My Friend Irma Goes West", and it's not surprising, as "My Friend Irma" ends BEFORE the plot is fully resolved--showing they must have known they'd do a sequel before they even finished the first film!
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