MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6,205 this week

Irma la Douce (1963)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  5 June 1963 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 11,195 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 31 critic

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...

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 15 Feb 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 05 Sep 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 30 Nov 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 28 Dec 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 6 days ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Irma la Douce" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Irma la Douce (1963)

Irma la Douce (1963) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Irma la Douce.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich
Avanti! (1972)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A successful businessman goes to Italy to arrange for the return of his tycoon-father's body only to discover dad died with his mistress of long standing.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills, Clive Revill
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Comedy about Coca-Cola's man in West Berlin, who may be fired if he can't keep his American boss's daughter from marrying a Communist.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As a tabloid newspaper editor tries to prevent his top reporter from retiring, an escaped death row convict shows up at the office trying to convey his innocence.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon
Buddy Buddy (1981)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Walter Matthau plays a professional killer going by the name of Trabucco, who is on his way to rub out gangster Rudy "Disco" Gambola, set to testify against the mob. As Trabucco heads off ... See full summary »

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Paula Prentiss
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A jealous piano teacher Orville Spooner sends his beautiful wife, Zelda, away for the night while he tries to sell a song to a famous nightclub singer Dino, who is stranded in town.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Dean Martin, Kim Novak, Ray Walston
Comedy | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi cafe singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a bored Holmes eagerly takes the case of Gabrielle Valladon after an attempt on her life, the search for her missing husband leads to Loch Ness and the legendary monster.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Robert Stephens, Christopher Lee, Colin Blakely
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Charles 'Slim' Lindbergh struggles to finance and design an airplane that will make his New York to Paris flight the first solo transatlantic crossing.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: James Stewart, Murray Hamilton, Patricia Smith
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A brash American gramophone salesman tries to get Emperor Franz Joseph's endorsement in turn-of-the-century Austria.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Bing Crosby, Joan Fontaine, Roland Culver
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman disguises herself as a child to save on a train fare and is taken in charge by an army man who doesn't notice the truth.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nestor Patou / Lord X
...
Lou Jacobi ...
Bruce Yarnell ...
Herschel Bernardi ...
Hope Holiday ...
Lolita
Joan Shawlee ...
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
Edit

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The production designer Alexander Trauner imported from France all the window glass used in the sets windows, as well as materials (iron for railings) used in the sets construction. The window glass was imperfect, wavy, with air bubbles. All the street shop windows, apartment mullioned windows were cut from this imported glass material. Parisienne street lamps, street fire hydrant plumbing hardware, as well as the sets' hardware for door latches, window latches, locks, were air-lifted to the States, delivered to the Goldwyn Studio for the feature. These items were matched, molded and fabricated in the film's staff shop, duplicated in fiberglass. The "L" plan of the three streets converging at the central street core conversion (at the) "Cafe Moustache" was designed in a theatrically forced perspective plan layout. The left side of the street extended through an adjoining (shared wall) stage door. The "T" plan of the central street extended to the rear stage wall, extremely forced in perspective. Minature French "toy" cars, approximately three feet long by fifteen, to eighteen inches high, were maneuvered on wires. The false perspective street raised in height above the stage floor approximately three feet. Scenically, the street's facade of shops were scaled and painted to recede as calculated for the reduced perspective horizon plane. Harold Michaelson, the film's illustrator, a genius at laying out perspective, calculated all the perspective plans and elevations for the three street ends. Atmosphere "extra casting" were hired, utilizing small (midgets) actors for all background action shots. Rain pipes were hung over the entire street set for the rain sequences, with the street's gutter system planned to flush the water out of the stage through stage wall drainage systems into the exterior adjacent studio street. The second story atelier set was located on the same stage, situated behind the street facade. This set was twenty feet off the ground, accessed by ladders. Fork lifts were used to deliver camera equipment and lighting equipment. The cast and crew had to use the ladders to climb up or down to and from the set. A minimum crew were allowed on the scaffold set with Jack Lemon, Shirley MacLaine and Billy Wilder. While filming their scenes in this small environment, the wonderful rapport between the two actors and Wilder was a "very private funny scenario". Behind this set, the scenic shop-department was located on the stage rear wall, with a paint frame and 20' high deck for the scenic artists to work from while painting the film's scenic drops. Additional stages were used for the "les Halls" and the Cathedral interiors. The beef carcass used for set dressing in the meat market were white plastic formed vacuums completely assembled. Twenty scenic artists painted these carcasses with oil paints, using sponges, fine hair paint brushes, using scenic techniques reproducing fresh marbled fat grained meat. All the cathedral stained glass leaded windows were also scenically oil painted on the imported French glass materials. See more »

Goofs

The shadow of the "boom" can be seen on the brown wall, at the right of the screen, just after Lemmon shows up in MacLaine's apartment, following his jailbreak. It shows up behind Bernardi, just after MacLaine's sarcasm that Lemmon could be found in jail. See more »

Quotes

Irma La Douce: You know, I'm sort of glad about that girl in Dijon, with the cough.
Nestor Patou: You are?
Irma La Douce: Because frankly, in the police van I thought that you'd never in your life, uh...
Nestor Patou: Oh, she wasn't the only girl. I've had more than one girl.
Irma La Douce: How many?
Nestor Patou: Altogether? Oh, let me see...
Irma La Douce: Three?
Nestor Patou: Not as many as that.
See more »

Connections

References The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Selections from 'Irma La Douce'
Music by Marguerite Monnot
Used throughout the background score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"But That's Another Story"
28 December 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

When I first saw Irma La Douce as much as I liked it, I was puzzled by the fact that Billy Wilder had chosen to do this hit musical without any songs in it. Very much like Fanny from a few years ago which also had a French setting and came to the screen without its score. The Broadway cast album was a staple in my house and I certainly enjoyed the songs that Keith Mitchell and Elizabeth Seal and the rest of the cast did on Broadway.

What made it more puzzling was the presence of Bruce Yarnell in the movie cast, the possessor of a really nice baritone voice, he played opposite Ethel Merman in the Lincoln Center revival of Annie Get Your Gun. That together with the fact Shirley MacLaine first made her mark in musical roles, in fact she had starred in the screen version of Can-Can the two years before.

Well, according to the recent biography of Billy Wilder by Ed Sikov in fact this film started out as a musical. Somewhere there is some footage of MacLaine, Yarnell, possibly even Jack Lemmon and Lou Jacobi doing some musical numbers lying in a vault somewhere. Wilder said he thought the numbers slowed the pace of the story and midpoint in the film he just scrapped what he had shot and didn't bother with the rest.

Personally I wish he had kept the numbers in, maybe it would have made Irma La Douce run too long. Who knows maybe we'll get to see them some day.

Shirley MacLaine got an Oscar nomination for her performance in the title role. She's a good natured working girl who has the misfortune to get busted by the one cop in Paris who is not winking at prostitution on his first day on his new beat. That would be Jack Lemmon who for his honest law enforcement gets himself fired.

That far from ends it as Lemmon falls for MacLaine and like he did in The Apartment sees himself as her savior. The rest of the film is the ridiculous lengths Lemmon goes to save MacLaine from her life of sin and debauchery.

His one confidante is Lou Jacobi who plays Moustache the owner of a local bistro where the girls and their mecs(that's French for pimp) hang out. His role was originally intended for Charles Laughton.

Billy Wilder has a well deserved reputation as a cynical observer of humankind and had some run ins with several Hollywood greats. But he became an unabashed admirer of Charles Laughton after working with him on Witness for the Prosecution. The tenderest part of that Wilder biography tells about how Wilder kept visiting Laughton up to the end discussing the part with both of them knowing it was never to be. Yet I wish Laughton had lived to do the part. It would really have been special.

Bruce Yarnell's part is that of MacLaine's mec. His career too was tragically cut short by a plane crash that he was killed in later in the decade. Terrific voice, nice screen and stage presence, what a terrible thing to happen.

Though I would have liked to have seen the musical, I can't fault Billy Wilder's production of Irma La Douce. The fact that this came to the screen at all was further demonstration of the Code finally being lifted from the backs of the creative.

Maybe we will see a full blown musical adaptation of Irma La Douce some day. But that's another story.


18 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
More obscene than nudity aorourke55
favorite quote? 10emus
The Title roons912
Who is the father of the baby? lepixma
Re Make orangeallstar12
Still fresh wooddonna
Discuss Irma la Douce (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?