6.8/10
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16 user 4 critic

Sylvia (1965)

Unrated | | Drama | 12 March 1965 (West Germany)
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 »

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writers:

Sydney Boehm (screenplay), Howard Fast (novel) (as E.V. Cunningham)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carroll Baker ... Sylvia: West (Karoki, Kay, Carlyle)
George Maharis ... Alan Macklin
Joanne Dru ... Jane (Bronson) Phillips
Peter Lawford ... Frederic Summers
Viveca Lindfors ... Irma Olanski
Edmond O'Brien ... Oscar Stewart
Aldo Ray ... Jonas Karoki
Ann Sothern ... Mrs. Argona / Grace Argona
Lloyd Bochner ... Bruce Stamford III
Paul Gilbert Paul Gilbert ... Lola Diamond
Jay Novello ... Father Gonzales
Nancy Kovack ... Big Shirley
Gene Lyons ... Gavin Cullen
Anthony Caruso ... Muscles
Alan Carney ... Gus
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

12 March 1965 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Vorleben der Sylvia West See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film had a long gestation. Producer Martin Poll bought the rights to the novel in 1961 and planned to have Paul Newman star. When the project was revived in 1964, Robert Reed was considered for the lead. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mrs. Argona: The word is "tilt", honey. If you're getting a proposition you can't handle, just yell "tlit one".
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mulholland Drive (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Sylvia
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Music by David Raksin
Sung by Paul Anka
Thru the courtesy of RCA Victor Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
episodic entertainment
23 August 2005 | by hildacraneSee all my reviews

The filmic trope of presenting a mystery woman to the viewer through the recollections of her friends and lovers has a long history. Perhaps "Laura" is the most famous. A much lesser-known one is the British "Woman in Question." "Sylvia" is in that tradition: a wealthy man wants to find out about the background of his fiancée, Sylvia, so hires a private detective to investigate. As the P.I. encounters people from Sylvia's past, the stories that they tell him are the flashback elements of the film. There's a very touching episode with Viveca Lindfors, as well as one with Ann Sothern. While the film is somewhat desultory in its pacing, it's got some great folks-Edmund O'Brien, Joanne Dru, etc.--and a suitably disengaged performance from Carroll Baker in the title role. It actually works well for the character, who throughout a series of tawdry experiences has kept a part of herself removed and untouched. We also get to see a well-toned George Maharis with his pajama top off--another reason to catch the film if it ever shows up.

David Raksin, who composed the score for "Laura," some twenty years earlier, provides a nice score for "Sylvia" (note the use of the waltz from William Wyler's "Carrie"--also a Paramount film-- in the scene at the restaurant with Sothern and Maharis).


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