During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
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>
Shirley MacLaine was not happy with the script, and thought even less of the film after it was finished, calling it "crude and clumsy". She was surprised to get a Best Actress Oscar nomination out of it, saying, "I would have been nonplussed had I won it." See more »
When Nestor and Irma first meet, Nestor says he received a medal for performing 'mouth to mouth respiration' on a drowning child. Of course, he means 'mouth to mouth resuscitation'. See more »
Life is total war my friend... nobody has a right to be a conscientious objector.
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Billy Wilder's Irma la Douce is an absolute gem. Coming after 'Some Like it Hot' and 'One, Two, Three' and before the similarly undervalued 'Kiss Me, Stupid' it is part of Wilder's most creative period. Shirley Maclaine is perfect as the hooker with the heart of gold and Lemmon is hilarious as the protective lover.
Largely shot in studio, Wilder makes hay with the control that this gives him, with a fabulous market where Lemmon works to keep Irma off the streets.
It is such a joy to see Lou Jacobi in the pivotal role of Moustache. His line delivery cannot be faulted and he is given many of the film's funniest moments.
It is also a joy to watch a great wit like Wilder show us that prostitution is a way of earning a living, not a social problem. May you smile in Heaven, Billy!
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