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 ... See full summary »



, (novel) (as E.V. Cunningham)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvia: West (Karoki, Kay, Carlyle)
Alan Macklin
Jane (Bronson) Phillips
Frederic Summers
Irma Olanski
Oscar Stewart
Jonas Karoki
Mrs. Argona / Grace Argona
Bruce Stamford III
Paul Gilbert ...
Lola Diamond
Big Shirley
Paul Wexler ...
Peter Memel
Father Gonzales
Connie Gilchrist ...
Molly Baxter


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 filmfactsman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


Carroll Baker is the Fury. George Maharis is the Force. Sylvia is the Explosion!




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

12 March 1965 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Das Vorleben der Sylvia West  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to her autobiography, lead actress Carroll Baker was concerned about the film's script early in production and requested that a new writer be hired. The front office suggested she involve herself with only "girly" concerns, such as choosing the correct handbag for each scene, then stocked her studio dressing room with dozens the next day. Baker responded by slinging them out the door one by one, and later wrote, "Sylvia turned out to be one woman who never carried a handbag." See more »


In library sequence, none of books are marked with Dewey Decimal System coding or other markings that would enable anyone to easily find or shelve books. See more »


Referenced in A Dirty Shame (2004) See more »


Love and Learn
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Music by Harold Arlen
Sung by Paul Anka
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Carroll Baker plays ex-hooker with much pathos!
21 February 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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