Irma La Douce (1963)

As a follow up to my earlier view on The Apartment, I must admit this movie is one of my all-time favorites—Irma La Douce (Irma the sweetest).

Jack Lemmon is remembered for his portrayal of Nestor Patou, an honest police officer who finds a street full of prostitutes in one of the popular areas in Paris one day on duty. He reports all the ladies to the police station in front of his senior officers. Aware of the activities, Nestor finds himself in false charges of bribe and hence thrown out of service by his old men who indulge in infixes.

He becomes close to Chez Moustache (Lou Jacobi), a local bar owner. While he is drunk, a bizarre sequence of events ends Pastor being the new pimp boyfriend for Irma as she dumps the previous guy. Pastor moves in with Irma.

He is in love with Irma and cannot digest the fact of being with other men; he comes up with a master plan of disguising himself as an old English guy (Lord X). Lord X offers Irma good money so that she can entertain only him.

To earn money, Pastor works for a meat processing industry during the night and early hours; hence most of the time, he ends up in bed tired. With time, this upsets Irma, and consequently, she finds solace by talking out her problems with Lord X.

Jealous ensures Irma’s ex-boyfriend kill Lord X. Pastor again becomes a victim.

Rest is all about how he manages to escape from prison and how he manages to convince Irma that he loves her more than anyone. One of the best comedies in Hollywood, Irma La Douce, was released in 1963 and was directed by Billy Wilder.

One of the fascinating things about Lord X is his strut and his comic timing. His ‘cheeribye’ is very catchy.

In a way, I wouldn’t like to describe much about this movie, as I would recommend everyone movie lovers to watch and enjoy.

Marilyn Monroe was touted to play the role of Irma; instead, Shirley Maclaine was chosen, as Monroe was dead by the time the production of this film started. Bollywood made a movie based on Irma La Douce, Manoranjan, starring Sanjeev Kumar, with Zeenat Aman and Shammi Kapoor playing the other lead roles.

I shall end the post with some of the memorable dialogues,
“Who wants to be a stray dog? You got to belong to someone, even if he kicks you once in a while.”

“Life is total war, my friend… nobody has a right to be a conscientious objector.”

“Shows you the kind of world we live in. Love is illegal – but not hate that you can do anywhere, anytime, to anybody. But if you want a little warmth, a little tenderness, a shoulder to cry on, a smile to cuddle up with, you have to hide in dark corners, like a criminal.”

“To be overly honest in a dishonest world is like plucking a chicken against the wind… you’ll only wind up with a mouth full of feathers.”