Sylvia (1965)

Unrated   |    |  Drama

Sylvia (1965) Poster

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 »



  • Sylvia (1965)
  • Carroll Baker and Edmond O'Brien in Sylvia (1965)
  • Sylvia (1965)
  • Aldo Ray in Sylvia (1965)
  • Carroll Baker and George Maharis in Sylvia (1965)
  • Sylvia (1965)

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11 November 2016 | bkoganbing
| In a good tradition
Sylvia certainly has a great tradition of similar films to fall back on. Chicago Deadline, The Mask Of Dimitrios, and the great Citizen Kane all deal with someone trying to pick up the real story of somebody by interviewing people from the past and getting flashback incidents.

Peter Lawford has hired PI George Maharis to trace down the background of Sylvia, the girl he plans to marry. What Carroll Baker in the title role has given him is completely bogus though she's pretty well fixed on her own and doesn't need Lawford's millions. But he's a careful sort and Maharis begins his work.

I have to say that it was a clever idea for him to use her writings, she's a poet, for traces of local idiomatic expressions. Maharis has a linguistics professor on call who tells him his starting point should be Pittsburgh.

After that Maharis starts on his hunt and meets a variety of characters played by some really fine character actors. It's the best thing Sylvia has going for it. These people really make the film. The most memorable for me are Ann Sothern who works in a penny arcade and is a drunk and Viveca Lindfors as a librarian from Pittsburgh who gives Maharis his first bit of real information.

Baker does well as a woman who really graduated summa cum laude from the school of hard knocks. The film was supposed to be a breakout film for George Maharis who left his TV series Route 66 for a career on the big screen. It never quite worked out that way. He does all right in the part of the PI, but I think either Paul Newman or Robert Mitchum would have aced the part of the private eye.

Still Sylvia is worth watching for one of the best cast of character players ever assemble this side of John Ford or Frank Capra.

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