Irma La Douce (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

Irma La Douce1963

Irma La Douce (1963)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Irma La Douce Photos

Movie Info

This romantic comedy opens with a resounding warning: its chief concerns are passion, bloodshed, desire, and death. "Everything," exclaims the narrator, "that makes life worth living." Irma La Douce (Shirley MacClaine) is Paris' most prosperous prostitute. Wise, endearing, and compulsively clad in green, Irma rules the rue Casanova. She triumphantly works the most coveted corner on a street where the cops gladly look the other way and the naughty johns leave tips. Her street is a content community of live and let live and good-natured desire, an Augean stable of human understanding. However, to upright Nester Patou (Jack Lemmon), the area's new policeman, genial wrongdoing is still wrongdoing. Freshly promoted from day patrol at a children's playground, the scrupulous Nestor arrests Irma and her colleagues in a bumbling, unauthorized raid. He takes pity on Irma, but harasses the guilty johns -- including the police captain. Promptly unemployed, Nester returns to the scene of his crime, the rue, and to Irma. After physically besting her pimp, Nester unwittingly takes his position. The two fall madly in love, but Nestor quickly grows jealous of Irma's patrons. Thus, he masquerades as a wealthy English aristocrat and becomes Irma's sole customer -- only to eventually grow violently jealous of himself. Soon enough, this formally righteous cop is comically jailed for his own brutal murder! As the film's prologue promises, Irma La Douce is a celebration of life from beginning to end -- unabashedly adoring lust, emotion, fervor and, above all, foolish love. ~ Aubry Anne D'Arminio, Rovi

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Shirley MacLaine
as Irma La Douce
Jack Lemmon
as Nestor Patou / Lord X
Lou Jacobi
as Moustache
Joan Shawlee
as Amazon Annie
Bruce Yarnell
as Hippolyte
Herschel Bernardi
as Insp. LeFevre
Grace Lee Whitney
as Kiki the Cossack
Tura Satana
as Suzette Wong
Harriette Young
as Mimi the MauMau
Howard McNear
as Concierge
Cliff Osmond
as Police Sergeant
Herb Jones
as Casablanca Charlie
Jane Earl
as Zebra Twin
Ruth Rogers Earl
as Zebra Twin
James Brown (II)
as Texan Customer
Bill Bixby
as Tattooed Sailor
Harriet Young
as Mimi the Mau Mau
Lou Krugman
as Customer
John Alvin
as Customer
Susan Woods
as Poule With the Balcony
Don Diamond
as Man With Samples
Edgar Barrier
as Gen. Lafayette
Richard Peel
as Englishman
Joe Palma
as Prison Guard
Louis Jourdan
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for Irma La Douce

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (7)

Set mainly in a bawdy-house that is never in the least bawdy, Billy Wilder's Irma La Douce is the kind of fantasy much favoured by Hollywood -- a sex comedy from which sex has been carefully eradicated.

March 11, 2020 | Full Review…

Though Irma's 143-minute length is more than a little too much of a very good thing, it's hard to dislike a movie that keeps giving you more good stuff.

January 25, 2019 | Full Review…

Lemmon and Maclaine fail to reproduce the chemistry from The Apartment but this slight film is not as ignorable as reputation suggests.

January 25, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Irma also misses on several important counts, and the fact that it does illustrates the sizable problems inherent in an attempt to convert a legit musical into a tuneless motion picture farce.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

A good example of how a movie can be utterly characteristic of its maker and still fall with a resounding thud...

August 15, 2007

Wilder's soft-centred cynicism provides frequent enough laughs without too many longueurs.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Irma La Douce


Wilder, Lemmon and MacLaine team up again after their collaboration in The Apartment to offer us a funny and audacious farce that works well enough despite being a bit overlong and clumsy in parts, especially as it becomes more and more contrived towards the end.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

"the apartment" with a bigger budget and less of a point, Wilder reteams lemmon and Maclaine in essentially the same roles, under different, lighter circumstances and a Parisian locale. it's not bad, per se, only light entertainment. Network television used to run the film every year.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

This is a fun film, but it doesn't near comparison to wilder's work with the two stars in 'the apartment." ...but no one said that it should.

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

Irma La Douce Quotes

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