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My Friend Irma Goes West

My Friend Irma Goes West(1950)


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In New York City, dim-witted blonde Irma Peterson and her sensible roommate Jane Stacey learn that Jane's boyfriend Steve Laird, who works at an orange juice stand, will be a featured singer on a television show that night. Steve is asked to sing a duet with sexy European movie star Yvonne Yvonne, while his partner, Seymour, forces his way onto the show with a comedy routine. Later, when she learns that they were paid with only twelve cans of spaghetti, Jane is furious and insists on replacing Irma's boyfriend Al as Steve's manager. A Hollywood producer named C. Y. Sanford then calls on them, and after Jane arranges for Steve to sign a contract with him, Sanford insists that they leave the next day for Hollywood. Unknown to them, Sanford is a lunatic escaped from an asylum and is picked up by the hospital outside their boardinghouse. Irma, Al, Steve, Jane and Seymour board the train the next day headed for the West Coast, and pay the fares out of their own pockets. By the time they reach Chicago, they are already living well beyond their means, but Al is convinced that they can bill the studio for their expenses. Irma misses the train in Chicago when she disembarks to buy a magazine, but learns from a newspaper headline about Sanford's lie. At the same time, Yvonne boards the train in Chicago with her chimpanzee, Pierre, intending to travel to Las Vegas for a quick divorce. While Yvonne tries to seduce Steve, Seymour becomes friendly with Pierre, and Steve later promises Jane he will stay away from the French seductress. Irma finally catches up with her friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she informs them of their situation. Jane relinquishes her position as manager to Al, who immediately talks Yvonne into getting Steve a job performing at her manager's nightclub in Las Vegas, with the intention of making Steve her new leading man. Neither Steve nor Al tell Jane about Yvonne's involvement, and when Al later cheats Sharpie, a cardsharp, out of $400 in a card game, Sharpie forces him to accept a job as a croupier in a crooked casino in Las Vegas. On the night of Steve's debut, Irma pretends to be sick so that Jane will stay with her and miss seeing Yvonne at the show, but Jane figures out Irma's ruse and breaks off her engagement to Steve. A distraught Irma then goes to the Quicksand Club to see Al, and by innocently cutting the wires which rig his roulette table, causes the patrons at his table to win $50,000. Sharpie and his thugs take Al and Irma out to the desert, intending to kill them, but Al makes a deal to return the $50,000 the next day if they release him. While the thugs keep Irma hostage, Al goes to the police and reports that she has been kidnapped, but alerts the police when he recognizes a photograph of one of the thugs as a wanted killer. Recalling his boyhood experience as an "Indian Scout," Seymour dresses like an Indian and goes into the hills to search for the hideout. When he sees smoke coming out of the chimney of the hideout, he believes it is a signal, and sneaks inside the cabin, where one of the thugs is about to kill Irma. Seymour attacks the killer and Irma hits both of them on the head with a pot. Later, Irma is hailed as a hero for capturing the notorious Corrigan gang, and Yvonne's agent offers her a part in Yvonne's next jungle picture. Steve and Jane reunite, and after he promises to give up his Hollywood aspirations, Yvonne takes an interest in Seymour as her next leading man.