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
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 fans of Wilder or stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine (the same trio had made a masterpiece, The Apartment, three years earlier). It doesn't represent the best work of those legends, but Irma provides tart entertainment. At least some of the movie's popularity can be chalked up to its subject, which was pretty risqué for the time: Lemmon plays a Paris policeman who falls in love with a prostitute (MacLaine). The script was adapted from a stage musical, but Wilder decided to cut the songs, instead developing the humor and romance into his own blend of bittersweet perversity; this Technicolor-fantasy Paris is kind of a dark cousin to Gigi. Lemmon is in his prime period of hand-wringing self-doubt, and MacLaine is perfectly in tune with his rhythms, especially in scenes that add tenderness to the sometimes queasy mix of moods. Ironically--given the nixing of the songs--the film won its only Oscar for André Previn's adaptation of the stage play's music into a wordless orchestral score. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This movie has a slow start (understandably being made in 1962) but then before you know it, it transforms in to a sweet faerie tale for the grown ups. Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2003 by MoonLitTree
It's astounding. This is one of the funniest comedies ever made and few people have even heard of it.
Everyone's seen "Some Like it Hot" (I HOPE! Read more
Is there another movie this great? My 90 year old grandfather and I are in total agreement about this hilariously wonderful film! Read morePublished on May 28 2002
Many might want to compare this film to Wilder's earlier Oscar winning film, "The Apartment" which also starred Lemmon and Maclaine. Read morePublished on March 28 2001 by Alex Udvary
Shirley MacLaine is great as Irma La Douce (Irma The Sweet) and this is a fantastic film! Irma is the most popular prostitute in Paris' red light district,and she is 'managed' by... Read morePublished on June 19 2000 by Byron Kolln