I Love Paris, but I didn’t see Jack

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June 29, 2013 by genelup

The neighborhood I really wanted to see was Les Halles, which is noted as the early-morning market area. When I arrived early in the morning the streets were literally jammed with trucks and stacks of crates of fruits and vegetables  Men pulling carts were moving these items.  I took some pictures.  I stopped in a small storefront shop and ate the traditional onion soup that is famous in Les Halles.

I wanted to see Les Halles for another reason, too.  True, it is another area where prostitutes hang out, but it is the setting for one of my favorite movies of all time — Irma la Douce. The movie, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, was released in 1963 when I was a reporter at The Milwaukee Journal.  It’s about an ex-cop in Paris who falls in love with a prostitute in Les Halles, and he tries to keep her honest by paying for all her time.

As a general reporter in Milwaukee in 1963, the editor one day didn’t have anything for me to do.  So, to get me out of the newsroom, he sent me to see the new movie release, To Kill the Mockingbird.  I viewed the movie, thought it was boring and told my boss I didn’t care for it.  Well, To Kill the Mockingbird won the Oscar that year as best picture.  My boss never sent me to see another movie.  I really thought Irma la Douce was a much better movie that year and it should have won the Oscar for best picture of 1963.  So, that’s why I went to Les Halles.  I didn’t see anyone there who looked like Jack Lemmon or Shirley MacLaine.

(From my memoir when I bummed Europe and Morocco in 1968, My Life Shattered then it got worse, until…  Note: Les Halles has since been torn down for urban development and is no more.)

ally jammed with trucks and stacks of crates of fruits and vegetables  Men pulling carts were moving these items.  I took some pictures.  I stopped in a small storefront shop and ate the traditional onion soup that is famous in Les Halles.

I wanted to Les Halles for another reason, too.  True, it is another area where prostitutes hang out, but it is the setting for one of my favorite movies of all time — Irma la Douce. The movie, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, was released in 1963 when I was a reporter at The Milwaukee Journal.  It’s about an ex-cop in Paris who falls in love with a prostitute in Les Halles, and he tries to keep her honest by paying for all her time.

As a general reporter in Milwaukee in 1963, the editor one day didn’t have anything for me to do.  So, to get me out of the newsroom, he sent me to see the new movie release, To Kill the Mockingbird.  I viewed the movie, thought it was boring and told my boss I didn’t care for it.  Well, To Kill the Mockingbird won the Oscar that year as best picture.  My boss never sent me to see another movie.  I really thought Irma la Douce was a much better movie that year and it should have won the Oscar for best picture of 1963.  So, that’s why I went to Les Halles.  I didn’t see anyone there who looked like Jack Lemmon or Shirley MacLaine.

(From my memoir when I bummed Europe and Morocco in 1968, My Life Shattered then it got worse, until…  Note: Les Halles has since been torn down for urban development and is no more.)

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