Movie Diary 1/9/2018

whirlpool

Whirlpool (Lewis Allen, 1959). Not sure where to start with this one. Juliette Greco is involved in crime, probably because of nasty boyfriend William Sylvester. She escapes a bad situation by hitching a ride on a Rhine river barge with blond-mustached cap’n O.W. Fischer (big Germanic star of the time) and boatmate Marius Goring, with the police trailing and boyfriend lurking on shore. The film seems fascinated by the fact that Greco wears blue jeans while on board, and so do all the male characters, who fall for her. Lots of location shooting in color by Geoffrey Unsworth. The riverboat looks palatial inside. Greco has many unpredictable line readings, and sings a little, though it’s hard to see how she kept a straight face through everything. Lewis Allen directed the great ghost film The Uninvited, and had mostly slid into television by this time. Sylvester is the American actor who spent much of the meat of his career in England; he’s indelible as Dr. Heywood Floyd, the fatuous space expert, in 2001: A Space Odyssey, so much so that when he comes on screen in something else it’s like watching the Kubrick film intrude on another movie. Worth a look? Absolutely.

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