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Irma la Douce (1963)

Unrated | | Comedy, Romance | 5 June 1963 (USA)
In Paris, an ex-cop falls in love with a prostitute, and tries to get her out of that life by paying for all of her time. Not so easy...

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nestor Patou / Lord X
...
Lou Jacobi ...
Bruce Yarnell ...
Herschel Bernardi ...
Hope Holiday ...
Lolita
...
Amazon Annie
...
Kiki the Cossack
Paul Dubov ...
Andre
...
Concierge
...
Police Sergeant
Diki Lerner ...
Jojo
Herb Jones ...
Casablanca Charlie
Ruth Earl ...
One of the Zebra Twins
Jane Earl ...
One of the Zebra Twins
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Storyline

Naive, by the book French police officer Nester Patou, is transferred to the Red Light district. Upon witnessing what must be a brothel, he calls the station and organizes a raid, transporting all the 'ladies' to the jail. This unfortunately disrupts the well organized system of the police and the Pimps union. Not to mention inadvertently netting his station superior at the brothel. Fired, he goes to a bar to drink, is befriended by Irma, beats up her pimp, and finds he is now Irma's new pimp. Nester's doesn't like the thought of his girl seeing other men, so comes up with a plan. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Come along on the wildest joy-ride of them all... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Irma la dulce  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Laughton was director-writer Billy Wilder's first choice to play the character of Moustache in Irma la Douce (1963) (1963). Laughton, who had given an Oscar-nominated lead performance under Wilder's direction in Witness for the Prosecution (1957), agreed to play the role, but died before principal photography commenced. See more »

Goofs

When Nestor and Irma first meet, Nestor says he received a medal for performing 'mouth to mouth respiration' on a drowning child. Of course, he means 'mouth to mouth resuscitation'. See more »

Quotes

Moustache: Life is total war my friend... nobody has a right to be a conscientious objector.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Billy Wilder Speaks (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Our Language of Love
Music by Marguerite Monnot
Original French lyrics by Alexandre Breffort
English lyrics by Julian More, David Heneker and Monty Norman
Theme song played several times in the background of André Previn score.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Why so little shown?
4 February 2005 | by (France) – See all my reviews

Billy Wilder's Irma la Douce is an absolute gem. Coming after 'Some Like it Hot' and 'One, Two, Three' and before the similarly undervalued 'Kiss Me, Stupid' it is part of Wilder's most creative period. Shirley Maclaine is perfect as the hooker with the heart of gold and Lemmon is hilarious as the protective lover.

Largely shot in studio, Wilder makes hay with the control that this gives him, with a fabulous market where Lemmon works to keep Irma off the streets.

It is such a joy to see Lou Jacobi in the pivotal role of Moustache. His line delivery cannot be faulted and he is given many of the film's funniest moments.

It is also a joy to watch a great wit like Wilder show us that prostitution is a way of earning a living, not a social problem. May you smile in Heaven, Billy!


32 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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