Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Irma La Douce (1963)

Irma La Douce (1963)

The songs are gone, but the Broadway musical about the life of a French whore in Pigalle retains the colour, the wit, and the exposure of French hypocrisy, and the writing and direction by Billy Wilder add an extra dimension.

Jack Lemmon plays Nestor Patou, a naive Parisian ex-policeman who falls in love with a prostitute called Irma la Douce (Shirley MacLaine) and becomes her pimp.

Patou doesn’t want to share his girlfriend with anybody else so he takes on an alter-ego – Lord X, a British gentleman – to become Irma’s sole client.

A nice Billy Wilder comedy/drama with perfect casting. Shirley MacLaine is a very strong lead and Jack Lemmon (Wilder’s favourite actor) is brilliant as always.

This is the film that Shirley MacLaine says changed her life. I wouldn’t touch that one with a barge pole.

Nestor Patou/Lord X
Jack Lemmon 
Irma La Douce

Shirley MacLaine 

Lou Jacobi 

Bruce Yarnell 
Insp. Lefevre

Herschel Bernardi 

Hope Holiday 
Amazon Annie

Joan Shawlee 
Kiki the Cossack

Grace Lee Whitney 
Casablanca Charlie

Herb Jones 

Paul Dubov 

Diki Lerner 
Zebra Twins

Ruth Earl
Jane Earl 
Suzette Wong

Tura Satana 
Mimi the MauMau

Harriette Young 

Sheryl Deauville 

Jack Sahakian 

Howard McNear 
Customer from Texas

James Brown 
Tattooed sailor

Bill Bixby 
Officer Dupont

Billy Beck 
Police sergeant

Cliff Osmond

Billy Wilder