A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
On Chicago's South Side reporter Ed Ames finds the body of a dead girl. Her address book leads to a host of names of men frightened by her death but claiming never to have known her. Ames comes to know quite a lot, dangerously so.
"Whirlpool" is one of those movies which delivers less than you'd expect. The dilemma of the film's central character is promising - as becomes clear from the first five minutes, she is on the run both from the law and from her former criminal associate - but the pacing is rather slow and there's not quite enough tension to hook the viewer.
Another major problem lies in the casting of this character. Lora is an anti-heroine, granted, but Juliette Greco makes her so coldly unsympathetic throughout the action that it's hard to see how anyone could find any potential for redemption in her. (Lollobrigida or Loren might have brought a bit more warmth and humanity to the role.) On the plus side, the other characters are all decently acted, and the gorgeous Rhineland scenery and good musical score are points in the movie's favour.
Not a bad film overall, then, but a disappointment when you consider what it could have been. 6/10.
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