Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi, Bruce Yarnell, Herschel Bernardi, Hope Holiday, Joan Shawlee, Grace Lee Whitney, Paul Dubov, Howard McNear, Cliff Osmond, Diki Lerner, Herb Jones
Written by: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond, based on a play by Alexandre Breffort
Directed by: Billy Wilder
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 144
Date: 06/05/1963

Irma la Douce (1963)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Lady of the Night

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Billy Wilder somehow sustains the lively pace and humor for the two-and-a-half hour color comedy Irma la Douce (1963, MGM/UA, $14.95) in which Shirley MacLaine stars as a popular turn-of-the-century Paris hooker who falls in love with squeaky-clean beat cop Jack Lemmon (the pair re-teaming after the highly successful The Apartment). This was perhaps Wilder's last modest hit, but it's also one of his lesser films; it's difficult to entirely justify the overwhelming length. André Previn won an Oscar for his score. MacLaine was nominated for Best Actress, as was Joseph LaShelle's color cinematography.

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