Irma la Douce
Based on a highly successful 1960 Broadway musical about a Parisian prostitute, Billy Wilder's comedy Irma la Douce is, in typical Wilder style, raucous, touching, convoluted and utterly absurd and funny as hell. Shirley MacLaine plays Irma, a sweet-yet-savvy Parisian streetwalker with the requisite heart of gold. Jack Lemmon is Nestor, a straight-arrow gendarme who doesn't immediately get the gist of his new beat ("What are all you girls doing around here?" he asks), then naively tries to enforce the letter of the law by raiding Irma's brothel. Unfortunately, one of the johns is Nestor's supervisor. Out of work, Nestor is taken in by Irma, who makes him her "mec" (her "business manager," as she explains it to him), but Nestor soon finds himself falling in love with her. As a way of keeping her all to himself, he impersonates a dotty English lord who merely wants Irma for company, and he pays her enough to take her off the street one of the funniest scenes in the film concerns Lemmon doing his Brit impersonation, explaining that the bridge on the River Kwai fell on him and left him "half a man." Lemmon plays his role to the hilt, and MacLaine is beautiful, sweet, sexy and funny she received a Golden Globe award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her role. MGM's DVD offers a clean transfer with audio in DD 2.0 mono. Theatrical trailer, keep-case.