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A Cambridge astrophysicist on routine business in London finds it frustratingly difficult to return a wallet of money to an Eastern European friend, a task complicated by a puzzling if scatterbrained society girl.
Sylvia West is a young poetess engaged to Frederic Summers, an eccentric millionaire. Summers, a man who always fears he is being loved for his money, decides to make a small check on his prospective bride. The results of this check completely shock him. Not one fact matches 'his' Sylvia. Intregued and bewildered, Summers hires detective Alan Maklin and has him make a thorough investigation on 'Who Is Sylvia.' Written by
Excellent Carroll Baker flick. Made just before Harlow almost ruined her career. Carroll plays a rich novelist who's engaged to sleaze-bag Peter Lawford. Lawford knows squat about her past so he hires second rate P.I. George Maharis to find out about her life. What he uncovers is on the tawdry side. Carroll endured many a degredation before turning to prostitution. Some scenes are a little campy. I love the scene where she gets a job in a hooker pick up joint run by a drag queen who's idea of warbling a song is climaxed by him/her karate chopping some blocks of wood on stage. Good supporting cast including Joanne Dru and the ever talented Ann Southern playing a frumpy has-been hooker. Lloyd Bocher plays a client who has some rather kinky-S&M ideas about foreplay, quite shocking for 1964, tame by today's standards. I really liked this movie as the viewer starts to feel much empathy for Carroll's character after surviving all the crap she went through in her life. Not your typical Hollywood ending either.
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