Whirlpool (1959) Juliette Gréco, O.W. Fischer, Muriel Pavlow, Marius Goring, William Sylvester, Richard Palmer, Peter Illing , Geoffrey Bayldon Movie Review

Whirlpool (1959)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Juliette Gréco in Whirlpool (1959)

Trouble on Water

Lora (Juliette Gréco) has done some bad things in her time, usually in collaboration with Herman (William Sylvester - Albert R.N.), but now she wants to live her life on the level. Unfortunately Herman refuses to let her do so, which forces her to go on the run. It is how she finds herself on a river boat captained by Rolf (O.W. Fischer) along with his small crew of Georg (Marius Goring - The Treasure of San Teresa), Dina (Muriel Pavlow - Doctor at Large) and Derek (Richard Palmer), a young lad. But with her past refusing to let her leave it behind there are both Herman and the police looking for her, trailing the boat as it makes its way along the river.

Let me cut to the chase and tell you that "Whirlpool" works depending on how you feel about Juliette Gréco and the character she plays. If on one hand you are captivated by her beauty, as the director appeared to be, then there is a good chance you will find her character interesting. And Gréco plays Lora in such a way that she is a mix of sexy and dangerous yet also icy cold. But if you find the coldness of the character of Lora too much and move beyond Gréco's attractiveness quickly then what "Whirlpool" ends up is a slow, meandering crime drama which feels like someone took a short story and dragged it out to 95 minutes with the use of several scenes which contribute nothing to the story.

Now in fairness "Whirlpool" is not a bad movie; the set up which hints at Lora's less than savoury past give it potential whilst the various developments with the police and Herman on the trail certainly could make for an intense drama as does Dina becoming jealous of her. And on top of that the rest of the cast play their parts well and seem comfortable in their characters. But the trouble is that there is so much filler in-between the good scenes that this story on a river ends up feeling watered down.

What this all boils down to is that "Whirlpool" is one of those movies which I can appreciate would appeal to some but for me ended up meandering and drawn out, lacking the intensity and excitement which the storyline was screaming out for. As such what this movie ends up lacking is the ability to get the audience to care about whether Lora will escape from her past and get to start a new life with maybe a handsome captain.