Ex-cop Nestor Patou (Lemmon) falls in love with street girl Irma la Douce (Maclaine). Jealous and desperate to get her out of her decadent lifestyle he discuise himself into a wealthy customer to pay for all of her time.
Oscar Winner for Best Musical Score Andrť Previn
Oscar Nominee for Best ACTRESS Shirley MacLaine
Oscar Nominee for Best Cinematography Joseph LaShelle
After the success with The Apartment, writer/director Billy Wilder reunites the stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine for another brilliant romcom.
Jack Lemmon is absolutely superb as the troubled police officer Nestor Patou, that turns into a pimp for the popular streetgirl Irma la Douce, played by the adorable Shirley Maclaine who was nominated for an academy award for the role. The interplay between Lemmon and Maclaine is terrific. Maclaine is quoted to have said that she didnít even read the script when she heard that Lemmon was up for the leading role.
Set in Paris and shot in technicolor, the film is as colorful as all the quirky characters in it. Shirley MacLaine portrays a more rough and tough girl than her sensitive and vulnerable lift-operator in The Apartment, and Mr Lemmon has more space to act out his whole repertoir as the love troubled man whoís put himself into a corner that he canít get out of.
Billy Wilder is known for his controversial movies which almost everytime have a satirical tone. From criticizing Hollywood in Sunset Blvd, drag-queens in Some like it hot, pimping for bosses in The Apartment to real pimps and street girls in this movie. Itís a serious theme that Wilder describes but he makes it into such a farce that even Shakespeare would be jealous for not have written it. All the twists and turns keep the viewer on the edge from beginning to end.
In the real world we all know that pimping and prostitution is something no one wants to do for a living, but here it is a profession that every unemployed Parisian would die for. Good or bad? Doesnít matter really. Wilder use this horrible theme to make an honest and funny love story.
Even if the movie is close to two and a half hours long, Wilder is such a good storyteller that when the movie is over you wish it was longer.
This film was nominated for five Oscars of which it took three, among them for best original music score that together with Psycho, North by northwest and The Great escape must be the best theme tune in film history.
So if you like romantic comedy's, lean back and enjoy this master piece in itís genre.