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Irma La Douce (1963)

Jack Lemmon , Shirley MacLaine , Billy Wilder  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

Price: $39.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi, Bruce Yarnell, Herschel Bernardi
  • Directors: Billy Wilder
  • Writers: Billy Wilder, Alexandre Breffort, I.A.L. Diamond
  • Producers: Billy Wilder, Alexandre Trauner, Doane Harrison, Edward L. Alperson
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2001
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005LOLC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,766 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Irma La Douce" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In 1963, Billy Wilder's Irma La Douce was one of the biggest box-office hits of the year, grossing twice as much as The Great Escape and The Birds. Yet this popular movie has been almost completely forgotten by film history, even to f

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Billy Wilder's 1963 adaptation of the successful stage musical IRMA LA DOUCE still makes for an entertaining movie experience. Shirley MacLaine is simply perfect for the title role with Jack Lemmon absolutely hilarious as her comical suitor.

Irma la Douce (Shirley MacLaine) plies her trade on the Rue Casanova of Paris with her fellow lovelies (with such names as Lolita, Amazon Annie, Mimi the MauMau and Suzette Wong). Into Irma's life comes the noble and honest policeman Nestor (Jack Lemmon) who is soon kicked off the job because he refuses to take bribes and compromise his own conscience. Nestor goes to live with Irma as her `business manager' but wants her to give up her profession, so he `invents' the filthy-rich Lord X to become her sole client, and takes a night-job to help the shortfall. All manner of hilarious complications ensue as Nestor's double life soon begins to spin out of control!

Based on the successful stage musical (music by Marguerite Monnot, lyrics by Alexandre Breffort), IRMA LA DOUCE was re-tooled by Wilder as a straight comedy piece. It works quite well either way, though I must confess that as an admirer of the stage play, it would have been smashing for Shirley MacLaine to perform that gorgeous score. The movie does retain the jaunty "Dis-donc, Dis-donc" and Andre Previn's score makes good use out of Monnot's music, particularly "Our Language of Love".

The strong cast also includes Lou Jacobi as the owner of the Bistro Moustache, Bruce Yarnell as Irma's previous manager Hippolyte and Billy Wilder stalwart Joan Shawlee as Amazon Annie.

The evocative costumes were designed by Orry-Kelly and the unbilled narrator at the beginning of the film is none other than Louis Jourdan.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great For A Laugh! March 28, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Many might want to compare this film to Wilder's earlier Oscar winning film, "The Apartment" which also starred Lemmon and Maclaine. This time the two are in the red-light district in Paris. Maclaine plays Irma, aka Irma La Douce (meaning Irma the sweet) and Lemmon as an honest cop Nester Patou. As soon as Nester (Lemmon) sets his eyes on Irma he's taken away by her,but, he doesn't realize she's a "working girl". After being fired off the force for a hotel raid and arresting the chief of police Nester depressed walks into a bar owned by Lou Jacobi who play Moustache. Noticing that Irma's pimp is acting rough with her Nester decides to defend her by getting beat up by her pimp lol. Finally Nester gets the best of him, and finds that now he is Irma's new pimp. Nester finds that he has also fallen in love with her and doesn't want her to be with other men. He then gets a great idea that will enable her to only be with him. As one might expect since the two worked with each other 3 years earlier there is good timing between Lemmon and Maclaine. And Billy Wilder is in fine form. There are some great moment here, especially in the begining when we see Irma conning men into giving her a big tip. And the scenes with Jacobi and Lemmon are very funny as well. The film is based on Alexandre Breffort's play and was written for screen by I.A.L Diamond and Wilder himself. The movie was nominated for 3 Oscars; Best Actress, Cinematograpgy, and Music score. Wonderful film with lots of laughs!
p.s Jacobi's last line "Well, that another story! might make some think Wilder was going for the same type of ending he had for another film of his "Some Like It Hot" in whinch Joe Brown says "Nobody's perfect"!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've fallen head over heals for Irma... September 16, 2008
Format:DVD
Yet another Billy Wilder smash hit, `Irma La Douce' pits the wonderfully charming Shirley MacLaine against the hilariously witty Jack Lemmon in a comedy that is every bit as smart as it is unforgettable. This is one of those comedies that sneaks up on you, getting better and better as the film progresses onward to its end, and then the ending is one that takes you for a loop and makes you reevaluate your whole understanding of the film.

It's just wonderfully constructed from beginning to end.

The film tells the story of Nestor Patou, a policeman in Paris who happens to take the law seriously. Unluckily for Nestor, he's the only law-abiding citizen in his district, and when his clean and polished ways rub the police chief the wrong way he finds himself without a job. After a chance encounter with a young street walker named Irma and her pimp leaves him the talk of the town though, Nestor finds that the law may not be his friend, but his new life seems to fit him just perfect. That is until his emotional attachment to Irma gets in the way of her line of work, and soon he finds himself battling with her every step of the way.

`Irma La Douce' is a genuine comedy that is sweet and engaging despite its questionable subject matter. This is never played in a perverse way but used as light fun for the audience. As we watch Nestor try his hardest to keep Irma from `working' we fall in love with his efforts, for his care for her is genuine and sincere. As we watch their relationship totter because of his loving deceit we feel for them both because we want them to stay together.

The acting is superb here, especially on the parts of the two leads.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
Wonderful acting by Lemmon and McLaine. This is a funny, priceless 'old' film like Hollywood no longer makes. Enjoy it!
Published 19 days ago by Rain
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfunny Irma la not so "Douce"
The original "Irma la Douce" was a frothy Broadway musical, full of Gallic charm. For the movie, the songs have been removed and the plot altered slightly and we are left... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Laurence G. Dorning
5.0 out of 5 stars TOO FUNNY!
Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine at their peak! Great comedy! I could watch this over and over again! Can't lose with this one!
Published 2 months ago by Yolanda
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice story,
The story is very nice and happens in an ancient street of Paris. Good film of the 60's, there are no stories like this nowadays. High quality of performences by the main actors. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. M. JUAREZ
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't be made today
one of my favorite comedies. it could not be made today. it's essentially a movie about a pimp in love with his prostitute. jack lemmon and shirley macclaine are both excellent. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Eugene C. Ballard
5.0 out of 5 stars very good and funny movie
years ago I went to the movies to see Irma La Duce. when i saw the DVD, i had to have it. i t was as good and funny as it was the first time. Read more
Published 3 months ago by jim rohr
1.0 out of 5 stars Unacceptable
I received this DVD with a lot of expectation. It was not playable. It was made outside the US for a Zone 4 and other jargon. The US as I understand is in Zone 1. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JORGE O . SVOBODA
5.0 out of 5 stars Man does not live on food alone
Long live Irma! It's not a crowd pleaser, or a movie that the younger generation will like. A movie that is relaxing and enjoyable for the whole family.
Published 4 months ago by Jawahar A. D. Souza
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable comedy!
A Very funny story line , and Jack and Shirley are terrific. Would recommend it to all takers! You'll all love it!
Published 4 months ago by Paul G. Maier
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
What can I say about a movie classic? This movie stands the test of time. The story is funny and entertaining. Jack Lemmon is superb as always.
Published 4 months ago by Terri Marie
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