En route to Hollywood, singer Steve, his partner Seymour and fiancée Jane, Jane's airheaded roommate Irma, and Irma's con artist fiancé Al have a series of misadventures and end up involved with a murderous gang.
Although allergic to kissing girls, Seaman Melvin Jones, through a fluke TV appearance, gets the undeserved reputation of a great kisser dubbed "Mr. Temptation" and is pursued by amorous young females.
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
According to a HR news item, Jack Carson was originally slated to appear as "Al," but was unavailable. Marie Wilson created the role of "Irma" in the original CBS radio program My Friend Irma . Hans Conried and Gloria Gordon also re-created roles from the radio show. This film marked the feature film debut of nightclub comedy team Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. According to a modern source, the role of "Seymour" was specifically created for Jerry Lewis, although Lewis reportedly wanted the role of "Al." The Var review stated that the "most notable value of 'Irma' is the introduction of two nitery comics," while the NYT reviewer remarked on the "new mad comedian, Jerry Lewis...[who is] the funniest thing in this film." Modern sources add that Martin and Lewis received ten percent of the film's budget as their salary. According to news items, writer-producer Arthur Kurlan sued for damages over the story rights to My Friend Irma , "contending he had acquired all radio and TV rights to the 'My Sister Eileen' stories which CBS agreed to use....[and] later told him they could use...without payment by changing the names of the principal characters and making them friends instead of sisters." The final outcome of the suit is not known. In 1950, Paramount released a sequel to this film titled My Friend Irma Goes West (see below), also starring Marie Wilson, Diana Lynn, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. (American Film Institute) 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 »
Oh, well, you know Jane. She wants to marry a man with money, but I don't think money's important. Look, I have you, and you have me, and we both have nothing.
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An Auspicious Debut for Dean and Jerry (But Also Strange)
This is a strange little comedy in which the appearances of Dean and Jerry almost seem an afterthought. "My Friend Irma" was already a successful radio comedy featuring the brilliant Marie Wilson. Marie played a hard core scatterbrain who had a knack for getting herself into and out of trouble. When it was decided to bring Irma to the big screen, I think Paramount decided to hedge their bets by including Dean and Jerry. This unlikely trio of comedians seems occasionally at odds struggling for whatever laughs might exist in this thin script. But there are some definite highlights for all of them, and the climax presents a bizarre commentary on how much the effects of consumerism had absorbed the American culture just a few years after World War II. The dippy Irma wins a radio contest by accident, and the last scene milks every last ounce of joke material out of the fact that she has been rewarded with a mountain of expensive presents.
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