Irma la Douce (1963)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  5 June 1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 12,187 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 35 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...


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



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


YOU COULDN'T ASK FOR FRIENDLIER FEMALES OR A FUNNIER PICTURE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Comedy | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Irma la dulce  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Irma La Douce: I once used to know a specialist, used to send some of his patients to me. All they needed was a little push.
See more »


References The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) See more »


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

Feelgood comedy
28 September 2001 | by (Sleepy Hollow) – See all my reviews

So it's not the greatest Billy Wilder/Jack Lemmon comedy ever, but it's definitely a very amusing film with witty performances from Jack Lemmon and Shirly McLaine who prove here once again what a believable, great screen couple they make. The scene stealer in this one, though, is Lou Jacobi as Moustache, the hilarious and "wise" bartender across the street. The film loses some of its humor at somes places, but it really takes off the moment Jack becomes Lord X. The music is a great asset, too.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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