Irma La Douce

Synopsis: Naive, by the book French police officer Nester Patou, is transferred to the Red Light district. Upon witnessing what must be a brothel, he calls the station and organizes a raid, transporting all the 'ladies' to the jail. This unfortunately disrupts the well organized system of the police and the Pimps union. Not to mention inadvertently netting his station superior at the brothel. Fired, he goes to a bar to drink, is befriended by Irma, beats up her pimp, and finds he is now Irma's new pimp. Nester's doesn't like the thought of his girl seeing other men, so comes up with a plan.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director(s): Billy Wilder
Production: United Artists
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
147 min

... than to buy a new sign.

Sometimes, at dawn, rich slummers

drop in for a bowl of onion soup.

But mostly the clientele consists

of the "poules" and their "macs".

You know what a "mac" is?

How do you say it in English?

A protector, a consort,

a business manager?

Well, stick around, you'll get the idea.

- How are we doin'?

- Not bad.

Mostly tips. I had

some real pigeons tonight.

- Sometimes I wish you were twins.

- Thanks.

- What's that?

- What's what? Oh, that.

The last one didn't have any more money,

so he gave me a cheque.

Now is that nice, Irma,

holding out on me?

- It's only ten dollars.

- And you weren't gonna tell me about it?

I was gonna put it down

as a deposit, on a hair dryer.

A hair dryer?! We're partners, Irma.

You wouldn't wanna cheat me?

- Let go, Hippolyte.

- There's such a thing as ethics.

You're hurting me, you big ox!

If you don't like the way I treat you,

why don't you get yourself another guy?

- I will one of these days.

- Why wait? Why not leave me now?

I'd take her any time.

Oh, you would?

- It was just a joke, Hippolyte.

- A joke?

So how come nobody's laughing?

Now go back to work.


And so it was one big,

happy family around here..

The "macs", the "poules" and the "flics"...

... or as you would say, the cops.

Your statesmen and politicians keep

talking about peaceful coexistence...

... but here, in our milieu,

we really practise it.

The attitude of the police

is live and let live.

And some of them make

a pretty good living at it.

Every other Friday the "flics" would raid

Rue Casanova, just for the record.

A few "poules" would be hauled to

the station, they'd pay a small fine...

... and 24 hours later

they'd be back on the street.

It was a nice, friendly,

civilised arrangement.

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Alexandre Breffort

Alexandre Breffort (1901–1971) was a French screenwriter. more…

All Alexandre Breffort scripts | Alexandre Breffort Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Irma La Douce" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 11 Apr. 2021. <>.

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