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Irma la Douce (1963)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 8 August 1963 (Canada)
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.

Director:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Diki Lerner ... Jojo
Herb Jones Herb Jones ... Casablanca Charlie
Ruth Earl Ruth Earl ... One of the Zebra Twins
Jane Earl 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>

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

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the film was based on a musical, Billy Wilder did it as a straight comedy because he didn't feel comfortable staging singing and dancing numbers. 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: A painter once lived here. Poor guy, he was starving. Tried everything, even cut his ear off.
Nestor Patou: Van Gogh?
Irma La Douce: No, I think his name was Schwartz.
See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of Irma la Douce (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Our Language of Love
Music by Marguerite Monnot
French lyrics by Alexandre Breffort
English lyrics by Julian More, David Heneker and Monty Norman
See more »

User Reviews

 
Delightful Fairytale
10 April 2009 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In Paris, after six months working with children, the decorated rookie policeman Nestor Patou (Jack Lemmon) is assigned to work in the red light district on the Casanova Street, a place crowded of streetwalkers, pimps and corrupt police officers. The honest Nestor, who is naive and strictly by the book, notes the movement of couples in the Casanova Hotel and befriends the prostitute Irma La Douce (Shirley MacLaine) believing that she is a lady. When he discovers that she is also a streetwalker, he calls the central station for a raid in the hotel. However, among the arrested costumers is the corrupt Chief of Police Lefevre (Herschel Bernardi) that has a scheme with the pimps union. Nestor is fired with a dirty record and has difficulties to find a new job; he goes to the bistro of the versatile and experienced Moustache (Lou Jacobi) to drink, and he starts a conversation with Irma La Douce. However, her bully pimp Hippolyte (Bruce Yarnell) fights against Nestor, but he beats him up. Irma brings Nestor home and he becomes Irma's pimp. However he falls in love for her and he is jealous when she meets a client. He decides to create the wealthy British Lord X to be the only regular client of Irma. But things go wrong when Nestor is jealous of Lord X and decides to end his character.

"Irma la Douce" is a delightful fairytale of the fantastic Billy Wilder, certainly one of the five top-directors of Hollywood ever. Based on a play, this delicious romantic comedy has witty and cynical screenplay and dialogs, supported by the chemistry of the charming and gorgeous Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon, who had worked together three years ago in the masterpiece "The Apartment". Lou Jacobi plays a skilled man in hilarious situations. The lines of Jack Lemmon playing a British lord are very funny. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Irma la Douce"


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 1963 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Irma la Douce See more »

Filming Locations:

Pont Royal Bridge Paris, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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