ADG Perspective

March-April 2024

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8 4 P E R S P E C T I V E | M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 4 Much of the action in the film Irma la Douce takes place in Chez Moustache, the cafe and pool hall where the Paris locals, along with the neighborhood prostitutes and their customers, congregate. The film was directed by Billy Wilder, starred Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. It was a huge success, becoming a top-grossing film for the year 1963 and nominated for three Academy Awards, including MacLaine for Best Actress. The film was designed by Alexandre Trauner, a Hungarian born artist who fled the anti-semitic regime of his homeland and moved to Paris to persue painting. Once in Paris, he found his way into film production and worked his way up to Production Designer on a number of influential French films during the Golden Age of French Cinema the 1930s. Following WWII, Trauner's success in French cinema led to recognition from Hollywood, and he became a sought-after designer for films with European locales. He was a favorite collaborator of director Billy Wilder, with whom he designed eight films, including The Apartment (1960), for which he won an Academy Award for Art Direction. His many credits include How to Steal a Million (1966), The Night of the Generals (1967), The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), The Man Who Would Be King (1975) and Round Midnight (1986). Trauner was inducted into the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame in 2006. He designed over eighty films, and Orson Welles, Billy Wilder and Howard Hawks all said that Trauner was the best Set Designer ever to work in films. RESHOOTS B Y D AV I D M O R O N G , E D I T O R S E L E C T I O N S F R O M T H E A D G A R C H I V E S COURTESY OF THE ADG COLLECTIONS AT THE MARGARET HERRICK LIBRARY, A.M.P.A.S. A. BROWNLINE ILLUSTRATION OF CHEZ MOUSTACHE, THE CAFE THAT IS A MAIN SET FOR THE FILM IRMA LA DOUCE (1963). A

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