Suzanne Ruta
December 04, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

Sylvia

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
110 minutes
Wide Release Date
10/17/03
performer
Daniel Craig, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amira Casar
director
Christine Jeffs
distributor
Focus Features
author
John Brownlow
genre
Drama

We gave it a B

Writing well is the best revenge. When the prolific Howard Fast was blacklisted in the ’50s, he got even by publishing this skillful suspense novel under the pseudonym E.V. Cunningham. The hero is a private investigator paid to spy on a beautiful, mysterious young woman. He hates himself for doing it. Between the lines of Sylvia we read Fast’s contempt for ’50s political snooping and witch-hunts. The lines themselves add up to a mildly diverting pastiche of Raymond Chandler, but with a didactic happy ending that gives the roman noir a moral twist. B

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