Juliette Greco flees from William Sylvester on a river Rhine barge
"Whirlpool" is a romantic and redemption drama embedded in a crime and pursuit plot. Juliette Greco has emerged from World War 2 and her bad experiences with criminal William Sylvester as a very hardened woman. She has escaped from him temporarily while working as a waitress, but he turns up and involves her in a new crime, even if tangentially. She tries to escape by seeking refuge on a cargo-carrying boat that plies the Rhine, run by maverick O.W. Fischer and a crew of three, mainly consisting of Marius Goring who adds to any movie he is in. The other two are a jealous Muriel Pavlow and a near adult Peter Illing.
Sylvester picks up Greco's trail, while also being pursued by police for several cold-blooded and unnecessary killings. Sylvester, like Goring, has that ability to hold one's attention while on screen. Fischer attempts to being Greco out of her bitterness toward life and men as the boat makes its way along the scenic Rhine. This romance and saving of Greco occupies a good part of the film.
It's nearly all done in a low-key, leisurely and subdued manner that downplays the thriller elements, of which there are a few. To have spruced it up would have required some new plotting and scripting with some action, or else some inspired direction. As it stands, it's simply a pleasant movie whose main distinctions are good scenery, a substantial role for Ms. Greco and her fans, the river boat, and good supporting roles.
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