IMDb > Irma la Douce (1963)
Irma la Douce
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Irma la Douce (1963) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Alexandre Breffort (play)
Billy Wilder (writer) ...
View company contact information for Irma la Douce on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 June 1963 (USA) See more »
A story of passion, bloodshed, desire and death... everything, in fact, that makes life worth living See more »
In Paris, a former policeman falls in love with a prostitute, and tries to get her out of that life by paying for all of her time. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Won Oscar. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Irma La Douce (Billy Wilder) See more (60 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jack Lemmon ... Nestor Patou / Lord X

Shirley MacLaine ... Irma La Douce

Lou Jacobi ... Moustache

Bruce Yarnell ... Hippolyte

Herschel Bernardi ... Inspector Lefevre

Hope Holiday ... Lolita

Joan Shawlee ... Amazon Annie

Grace Lee Whitney ... Kiki the Cossack
Paul Dubov ... Andre

Howard McNear ... Concierge

Cliff Osmond ... Police Sergeant
Diki Lerner ... Jojo
Herb Jones ... Casablanca Charlie
Ruth Earl ... One of the Zebra Twins
Jane Earl ... One of the Zebra Twins

Tura Satana ... Suzette Wong
Lou Krugman ... Customer #1

James Brown ... Customer from Texas

Bill Bixby ... Tattooed Sailor

John Alvin ... Customer #2
Susan Woods ... Poule with Balcony
Harriette Young ... Mimi the MauMau

Sheryl Deauville ... Carmen
Billy Beck ... Officer Dupont
Jack Sahakian ... Jack
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Ahdar ... Hood (uncredited)

Fred Aldrich ... Diner Patron (uncredited)

Al Bain ... Hood (uncredited)

Edgar Barrier ... General Lafayette (uncredited)
Ivan Bell ... Butcher (uncredited)
Herman Belmonte ... Hood (uncredited)
Eumenio Blanco ... Diner Patron (uncredited)

James Caan ... Soldier with Radio (uncredited)

Noble 'Kid' Chissell ... Street Vendor (uncredited)
Louise Colombet ... Street Vendor (uncredited)

Don Diamond ... Man with Samples (uncredited)

Duke Fishman ... Street Vendor (uncredited)
Paul Frees ... Trailer Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Ben Frommer ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Bobby Gilbert ... Busted Patron in Raid (uncredited)
Mickey Golden ... Diner Patron (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Bar Gangster (uncredited)
Jack Henderson ... Convict (uncredited)
Chester Jones ... Street Vendor (uncredited)

Louis Jourdan ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)

Ethan Laidlaw ... Butcher (uncredited)
Richard LaMarr ... Diner Patron (uncredited)
William Meader ... Busted Patron in Raid (uncredited)
Ralph Moratz ... Pimp (uncredited)
Mike Morelli ... Street Vendor (uncredited)

Doye O'Dell ... Ticket Seller (uncredited)
Joe Palma ... Prison Guard (uncredited)

Richard Peel ... Englishman (uncredited)

Joe Ploski ... Street Vendor (uncredited)

Bill Raisch ... Man in Church (uncredited)
Waclaw Rekwart ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)

Stephen Soldi ... Street Vendor (uncredited)
Bob Whitney ... Diner Patron (uncredited)

Harry Wilson ... Wedding Guest (uncredited)

Directed by
Billy Wilder 
Writing credits
Alexandre Breffort (play)

Billy Wilder (writer) and
I.A.L. Diamond (writer)

Produced by
Edward L. Alperson .... producer
I.A.L. Diamond .... associate producer
Doane Harrison .... associate producer
Billy Wilder .... producer
Alexandre Trauner .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
André Previn  (as Andre Previn)
Cinematography by
Joseph LaShelle  (as Joseph La Shelle)
Film Editing by
Daniel Mandell 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Alexandre Trauner  (as Alexander Trauner)
Set Decoration by
Maurice Barnathan 
Edward G. Boyle 
Costume Design by
Makeup Department
Emile LaVigne .... makeup artist
George Masters .... hair stylist
Alice Monte .... hair stylist
Harry Ray .... makeup artist
Frank Westmore .... makeup artist
Production Management
Allen K. Wood .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hal W. Polaire .... assistant director (as Hal Polaire)
Christian Ferry .... first assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Frank Agnone .... property master
Arden Cripe .... property master
Hub Braden .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Harold Michelson .... illustrator (uncredited)
David Thorne .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gilbert D. Marchant .... sound effects editor
Robert Martin .... sound
Special Effects by
Milt Rice .... special effects (as Milton Rice)
Camera and Electrical Department
Léo L. Fuchs .... still photographer (uncredited)
Jack Spicer .... best boy (uncredited)
Don Stott .... gaffer (uncredited)
Bob Young .... grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Irene Caine .... wardrobe
Wesley Jeffries .... wardrobe (as Wes Jefferies)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Richard Carruth .... music editor
David Heneker .... lyrics
Julian More .... lyrics
Monty Norman .... lyrics
Alexander Courage .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Marshall J. Wolins .... script supervisor (as Marshall Wolins)
Christian Ferry .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Laure Lourié .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
147 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Australia:SOA (original rating) | Canada:18A | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Italy:VM18 | Japan:G (2014) | Netherlands:18 (1964) | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 (original rating) | Sweden:11 (re-release) (cut) | UK:15 | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (PCA #20447) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Jack Lemmon married actress Felicia Farr in Paris during this 1962 shoot.See more »
Boom mic visible: 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: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 »
Movie Connections:
Our Language of LoveSee more »


Is "Irma la Douce" based on a book?
How does the movie end?
How do you translate "Douce"?
See more »
40 out of 47 people found the following review useful.
Irma La Douce (Billy Wilder), 16 October 2006
Author: wjv-1 from United States

Irma la Douce is a gem, one of Billy Wilders best films. Banned from TV for many years by network censors, it began as a Broadway play and ran from Sep 29, 1960 to Dec 31, 1961 playing at both the Plymouth Theatre and the Alvin Theatre in New York. It quickly won the attention of Hollywood and in 1963 debuted as a film starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. It is a love story, the story of a policeman turned reformer who falls madly in love with a beautiful young prostitute. The IBDB captures its essence best: "Irma La Douce" is not only French; it is intensely Parisian French. Set in an area tourists seek, but so seldom find, its musical idiom, its moral atmosphere, its plot and its argot are part of Paris not even all Parisians know; a part of Paris where the underworld is known as the "milieu." A tart is a "poule," a pimp is a "mec" and money is "grisbi." If you remember Sam Seborn's affair with a prostitute in the first season of West Wing, you have the advantage. Mix with this belief in the underlying goodness of a person with the enchanting music and backdrop of Paris and you will find yourself pulling for Nester (Lemmon) in his quest to win Irma's hand. Marilyn Monroe was originally scheduled to play Irma but died before the film work began. As a credit to Wilder's casting, Shirley MacLaine's performance earned her an Oscar nomination for best actress. The film's cinematography received its own Oscar nomination and the music took Hollywood by storm. It's stunning Parisian melody, written by Marguerite Monnot and arranged for film by Andre Previn, won the Oscar for best music and remains one of the finest musical scores ever.

And within the cheerful comedy of the plot, the story's philosopher shines bright as the mentor for Lester who struggles to overcome the muk of daily life. Being none other than the bar tender and owner of the Chez Moustache, the bar and stage center for much of the film, Moustache lends his shoulder to Lester and instructs him in the realities of life: life accepts no conscientious objector and must be approached as if it were a war where only the strong survive. In other words, face the world as it is, not as you were told it was.

Watch this film on DVD and get the wide screen version if you can. If you find yourself critical of the film, remember that this is late 50's, early 60's America. It came out during the cold war, in a period where TV was still in its 'Andy of Mayberry' days. Movies were heavily censored and even the media was under intense scrutiny for what topics matters it discussed. Irma La Douce was buried from play and only lately rediscovered by VHS & DVD fans. Transport yourself back to the "Milieu" and enjoy, you may just learn something about life!

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