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Sylvia (1965)

In this tremendously, compulsively awful melodrama, Sylvia West (Hollywood’s sex siren in residence, the one and only Carroll Baker) is about to marry a millionaire, so he hires a private detective to shed some light on her past.

She’s a champion rose grower and a published poet, so there shouldn’t be too many surprises. But then comes the bad news – after being abused as a child, she became a prostitute and fell in with some very bad company indeed.

As prurient and lurid as a mainstream Hollywood movie could be in 1965, this is a Harold Robbins epic in all but name, superbly filmed and with a whole line of feeble, emasculated or disturbed men to trample over Sylvia’s eventful life.

What makes the film seem so authentic and compelling is Baker’s own love/hate relationship with her Baby Doll screen image.

Sylvia West
Carroll Baker 
Alan Macklin

George Maharis
Jane (Bronson) Phillips

Joanne Dru 
Frederic Summers

Peter Lawford
Irma Olanski

Viveca Lindfors 
Oscar Stewart

Edmond O’Brien
Jonas Karoki

Aldo Ray 
Mrs Grace Argona

Ann Sothern 
Bruce Stamford III

Lloyd Bochner 
Lola Diamond

Paul Gilbert
Big Shirley

Nancy Kovack 
Peter Memel

Paul Wexler

Gordon Douglas