My Friend Irma (1949) starring Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Marie Wilson, Diana Lynn
My Friend Irma was originally a long-running radio series, that became a pair of successful movies, the sequel being My Friend Irma Goes West. In this first film, the comedy team of Martin & Lewis were included as comedy relief. However, much like Abbott and Costello‘s first movie role in One Night in the Tropics, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis‘ roles were gradually expanded – not quite stealing the show, but coming close.
Notable moments include The Donkey Serenade performed by Martin & Lewis in the club, as well as Dean and Jerry’s interaction at the juice bar. Also, both films are included on 1 DVD, so there’s a bit of a price savings. Also, both films are available on The Martin & Lewis Collection Volume 1.
Plot summary for My Friend Irma co-starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Based on the long-running radio show. Irma is a likeable airhead who meddles in her roommate’s love life. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, in their first screen appearance, are juice-bar operators who are discovered when a self-proclaimed manager hears Martin’s golden voice. Irma’s roommate wants to marry her rich boss but instead falls in love with Martin.
Editorial review of My Friend Irma courtesy of Amazon.com
One croons. The other cavorts. Fans couldn’t get enough of them! Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis made their crowd-pleasing film debuts in My Friend Irma, a 1949 funfest based on the long-running radio show. The guys are juice-bar operators who get a shot at new careers when a self-proclaimed manager discovers that Martin is better at squeezing out a musical “C” than Vitamin C. Their story intersects with the antics of Irma (Marie Wilson), the likable airhead who meddles in the romantic life of her roommate (Diana Lynn). Irma may be a queen of loopiness, but it’s Lewis who walks off as America’s clown prince. Exclaimed the Los Angeles Examiner: “There just hasn’t been anything like him on land, sea or celluloid.”
Funny movie quotes from My Friend Irma
Al: Your time will come, son. I’ll save you for a rainy day. Got to hold back a little. Don’t want to push too much.
Seymour (Jerry Lewis): Rainy day? I got news for you. I get hungry in clear weather!
Professor Kropotkin (Hans Conried): My little pigeon!
Seymour (Jerry Lewis): Who’s a pigeon?
Professor Kropotkin (Hans Conried): It’s only me, Professor Kropotkin.
Jane Stacy (Diana Lynn): Well, hello, Professor.
Irma Peterson (Marie Wilson): Hi, Professor.
Professor Kropotkin (Hans Conried): Oh, Jane and Irma, my two little proud beauties! One with her head in the air and the other with air in her head.
Irma Peterson (Marie Wilson): How often does a girl meet a millionaire with money?
Steve Laird (Dean Martin): Now, there’s the mirror. Take a look at yourself. Now, if you notice, you have deep expression in your eyes and a very sensitive chin – all the qualities of a legitimate actor – maybe even a great lover.
Seymour (Jerry Lewis): Yeah, but isn’t my voice too high?
Steve Laird (Dean Martin): Not necessarily. Maybe you can make love to tall girls.
Jane Stacy (Diana Lynn): Anything can happen when you live with my friend Irma!
Irma Peterson (Marie Wilson): [to Al] Oh, well, you know Jane. She wants to marry a man with money, but I don’t think money’s important. Look, I have you, and you have me, and we both have nothing.
Seymour (Jerry Lewis): The least you could do is show me some sympathy, Steve. When you was sick, I was very considerate. Remember when the doctor gave you only 30 days to live?
Steve Laird (Dean Martin): Yes!
Seymour (Jerry Lewis): Didn’t I go out and get you a calendar?
Jane Stacy (Diana Lynn): [Hearing the telephone ringing after finding her ruined clothes] I’ll answer it, Mrs. O’Reilly. My feet are wet and I want to be sure I’ll be electrocuted.
Irma Peterson (Marie Wilson): [On phone] Oh Jane, darling. I called you because I wanted to tell you to be sure not to take a shower.
Jane Stacy (Diana Lynn): And why shouldn’t I take a shower and be clean like all other normal people?
Irma Peterson (Marie Wilson): Well, you see, I painted the clothes closet, and I hung all the clothes in the shower.
Jane Stacy (Diana Lynn): Irma, when you come home tonight would you bring a piece of good, strong rope with you? Because there’s something else I want to hang in the shower with the clothes.
Irma Peterson (Marie Wilson): Really, Jane? What?
Jane Stacy (Diana Lynn): You. Irma Peterson, how could you be so stupid?