• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:02/07/2024

Irma la Douce

A STORY OF PASSION, BLOODSHED, DESIRE AND DEATH… EVERYTHING, IN FACT, THAT MAKES LIFE WORTH LIVING.

In Les Halles, former cop Nestor Patou (Jack Lemmon) moves in with a prostitute (Shirley MacLaine) he loves and comes up with a plan to make her give up her job, involving a fake English lord… Billy Wilder reunited with his Apartment (1960) stars for a far less impressive comedy. There’s no reason why this simple French farce goes on for two and a half hours (especially since its original musical bits were cut out), but Lemmon and MacLaine are still top-notch, nicely supported by Lou Jacobi as a bartender with a mysterious past. A silly story, but the Burbank studio version of Les Halles is amiable enough.


1963-U.S. 147 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Billy Wilder. Screenplay: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond. Play: Alexandre Breffort. Music: André Previn. Cast: Jack Lemmon (Nestor Patou), Shirley MacLaine (Irma la Douce), Lou Jacobi (Moustache), Bruce Yarnell, Herschel Bernardi, Hope Holiday… Bill Bixby, James Caan. Narrated by Louis Jourdan.

Trivia: Co-produced by Wilder. Caan’s film debut. Marilyn Monroe was first cast as Irma; after her death, MacLaine replaced her. Remade in several countries, including in India as the controversial Manoranjan (1974).

Oscar: Best Original Score. Golden Globe: Best Actress (MacLaine). 


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