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


Tell me, how'd a nice girl like you

get into a racket like this?

I was studying at the Paris Conservatory.

I was going to be a concert pianist.

Chopin and Debussy, and like that.

And then the night of my first recital,

the piano cover fell on my hand.

Three broken fingers and a broken dream.

After that I didn't care what happened... long as I could feed

myself and my little dog.

Thank you.

Do you mind if I ask you

a personal question?

You mean, why does a girl like me

have to do this for a living?

Well, actually, I'm Belgian. My parents

were missionaries in the Congo.

I don't wanna talk about that.

- I understand.

- So now there's just me and my sister.

She's in the hospital.

Needs three transfusions a day.

D'you know how much

a pint of blood costs these days?

Thank you.

Sorry, pooch. What's his name?

Her name. Coquette.

- And what's yours?

- Irma. They call me Irma la Douce.

That means Irma the Sweet.

I don't know why.

I know why. How much is that, in dollars?

Five dollars. Actually,

I don't even know my real name.

I was brought up in an orphanage near

Cherbourg - it was destroyed on D-day.

I've been sending money to help rebuild

it. I've already paid for a whole wing.


That's all I have on me, ma'am.

Actually, it was bombed by the Eighth Air

Force. Not that I blame you Americans.

But if you could see those poor orphans,

sleeping on the floor, the rain coming in.

There are no beds yet and no roof.


Do y'all take traveller's cheques?

This, then,

is the story of Irma la Douce.

A story of passion,

bloodshed, desire and death.

Everything, in fact,

that makes life worth living.

The place is Paris, the time

is five o'clock in the morning.

You may have read in travel folders

that Paris is a city that never sleeps.

Don't you believe it.

At this time of the day

there is nothing doing...

... unless you're working for

the department of sanitation.

If you want a nightcap

at Maxim's, it's too late.

It's been closed for hours.

If you want to jump off

the Eiffel Tower, it's too early.

It won't be open for hours.

So, if you're looking for a little action,

forget the high-rent district.

You'd better come to our neighborhood.

This is Les Halles,

the wholesale food market.

We call it the stomach of Paris.

Keep your Champs lyses

and your palace in Versailles.

This is the place for me..

Brawling, vulgar, smelly, but alive.

Beef from Charollais,

pork from Prigord...

... lamb from Brittany, veal from Normandy.

Brains and kidneys and tripe.

Pigs' feet and calves' heads

waiting for sauce vinaigrette.

Salmon from the Loire,

sole from the Channel...

... lobsters from Corsica...

... oysters from Dieppe,

sardines from Lorient.

Asparagus from Argenteuil,

oranges from Valencia...

... melons from Cavaillon,

cabbage from Aubervilliers.

But man does not live by cabbage alone.

And if that's what you're in the market for,

just step into the Rue Casanova.

This is where the girls are,

or, as we say, the "poules".

You can have your choice of

Kiki the Cossack, Amazon Annie...

... Lolita, Suzette Wong,

Mimi the Maumau...

... and then, of course,

there's Irma la Douce.

She was born here, in Les Halles,

in a truck behind the fish market.

Like all the others, she takes her coffee

break in the bistro across the street.

This is the owner.

He is known as Moustache.

According to police records,

he is a Romanian chicken thief...

... named Constantinescu,

but when he bought this place...

... it was called "Chez Moustache" and

it was cheaper to grow a moustache...

Rate this script:(5.00 / 1 vote)

Alexandre Breffort

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

All Alexandre Breffort scripts | Alexandre Breffort Scripts

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Irma La Douce" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 29 May 2022. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Irma La Douce

    The Marketplace:

    Sell your Script !

    Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.