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The Swimming Pool (1969)

La piscine (original title)
Lovers Marianne and Jean-Paul spend their vacation in a villa on the French Riviera near St-Tropez. Marianne invites her former lover, Harry, and his teenage daughter to stay. Tension rises between them, especially when Jean-Paul seduces Penelope.

Director:

Jacques Deray

Writers:

Jean-Claude Carrière (adaptation), Jacques Deray (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Alain Delon ... Jean-Paul
Romy Schneider ... Marianne
Maurice Ronet ... Harry
Jane Birkin ... Pénélope
Paul Crauchet ... L'inspecteur Lévêque
Suzie Jaspard Suzie Jaspard ... Emilie
Maddly Bamy Maddly Bamy ... La mulâtre qui danse (as Madlybamy)
Thierry Chabert Thierry Chabert ... Un ami
Steve Eckardt Steve Eckardt ... Fred (as Steve Eckart)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ruth Price Ruth Price ... Singer
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Storyline

Lovers Marianne and Jean-Paul spend their vacation in a villa near St.-Tropez. The main feature of the villa is a swimming pool, stage for most of the action. After a visit Marianne invites former lover Harry and his teenage daughter Penelope to stay. Tension between the grown-ups rises especially when Jean-Paul seduces Penelope. The consequences are deadly. Written by Peter Zunneberg <p.zunneberg@tip.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warm, wet bodies fresh in the sweet heat of loving. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

August 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Swimming Pool See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$28,550, 31 December 1970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Jacques Deray in his biography, the shooting crew received as guests the two French swimming champions Christine Caron and Alain Mosconi who friendly competed a 100 yards trial in the swimming pool against the actors. See more »

Goofs

A body of someone that has just drowned does not float on water. Only after the decaying process has started and gases build up in the body does the body float to the surface. See more »

Alternate Versions

English version. As all the cast, except Paul Crauchet, were fluent in English the scenes were shot both in French and in English. This version proves to be funny for the English-by-the-book used in the dialogue (obviously a line by line rendition of the original French script). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Romy (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Dans la Soirée
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand
Solo Violin by Stéphane Grappelli
Solo Voice by Michel Legrand
See more »

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User Reviews

 
lots under the surface but only eye candy above
14 January 2017 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

And what eye candy - Alain Delon.

"La Piscine" is about two impossibly beautiful people in various stages of undress having a lot of foreplay. Or so it seems. Jean- Paul (Delon) and his lover (or wife, not sure) Marianne (Romy Schneider) are vacationing in a friend's mansion in Saint-Tropez. Lots of sun, making out, and swimming.

Marianne's ex-beau, Harry (Maurice Ronet) calls to say he's in the area, and Marianne invites him and his nubile daughter Penelope (Jane Birkin) to stay with him.

It's obvious that Harry still desires Marianne, so there is automatic tension. Then Jean-Paul seduces Penelope. Soon tension leads to something worse.

"La Piscine" is a typical foreign film - the ideas are sometimes obtuse, and it moves slowly. It's also too long by as much as a half hour. It's hard to concentrate on the plot because the beauty of the stars, Delon and Schneider, and their incredible chemistry overwhelm the story - to the extent that one doesn't really understand Jean- Paul's attraction to Penelope.

What erupts is the suppressed anger of the once-suicidal Jean-Paul, the competitiveness between him and Harry, and Harry's jealous possession of his daughter, whom he only recently met. As Penelope says, he likes to have her travel with him because people often think she's his mistress.

Schneider and Delon were a famous real-life couple but had broken up about five years earlier. Their chemistry is undeniable, and it's heartbreaking to think about what happened to her. Both actors give very "movie" performances - nothing overplayed, many subtle, nonverbal reactions. All of the acting is good, and the conflict scene between Harry and Jean-Paul is excellent.

"La Piscine" is considered a classic, but I believe many Americans had a hard time with it due to its languid pace and a tendency to look for action rather than psychology. Enjoy it for the beautiful photography and beautiful actors, if nothing else.


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