Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Forgotten Movies: IRMA LA DOUCE

I am having trouble commenting on anyone's blog who uses wordpress. This began when I started the 365 short story project which uses wordpress. If you don't see me, I am probably there. Just a ghost of my former self.


I am a great Jack Lemmon fan and this Billy Wilder movie from 1963 is a favorite. Lemmon plays a naive Parisian cop who is assigned to the Red Light District. There he falls for a charming hooker played by Shirley Maclaine, and does what he can to keep her from meeting up with clients. This makes him her pimp. A delightful comedy-and not the dark movie it sounds. At least if I remember it correctly. Can you see from this clip what a great silent actor he would have been?

THE APARTMENT, which also paired this duo, was far darker and even more terrific if less forgotten than IRMA LA DOUCE.

Lemmon was brilliant at playing nervous insecure men. I can't think of anyone who did it better. Can you?


For more forgotten movies, Todd Mason is the toastmaster general,

14 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Aren't too many who could fuss more effectively than Lemmon (Charles Grodin being perhaps the next-gen champ), though his early turn in BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE suggested that he could play the conscience-free cad rather deftly, too...

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've seen IRMA since it's first release. Of course, he was also Felix Unger as well as George in THE OUT OF TOWNERS.

Jeff M.

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, my gosh, Patti, I hadn't thought of this movie in years and years. Thanks for bringing it back :-).

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

I love the actors and Wilder is wonderful even on a bad day, but I always founf this way too slow to be honest - but lots of fun all the same. Love to see Maclaine kick back and dance on the billiard table! This turned to be Wilder's biggest hit at the box office, even bigger than SOME LIKE IT HOT, which is just one of those weirdnesses you have to learn to live with I guess.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Definitely suffers from lack of authenticity and the trouble is in the screenplay, I think. It is colorful and different though. But not my favorite Wilder or Lemmon. Perhaps they should have gone with an out and out musical.

George said...

Lemmon is the king of that kind of role. Steve Carell comes close.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Steve is a good example but for me, he is less lovable. Or maybe times don't allow it.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I am with you on Jack Lemmon. I saw both these films again recently and liked them as much as I did the first time. He and Walter Matthau were a riot.

Anders E said...

William Macy is also pretty good at that kind of role.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, good call. Although he can play evil just as nicely.

Cap'n Bob said...

Nervous? Don Knotts.

pattinase (abbott) said...

For sure, but Lemmon managed to make it attractive.

Yvette said...

I did see this many MANY years ago but didn't like it as much as you, Patti.

Who knows what I'd think today. It would be fun to find out. :)

Cap'n Bob said...

Don Knotts not attractive? Who knew?