6.5/10
4,101
38 user 21 critic

The Drowning Pool (1975)

A big-city private detective travels to the Deep South to help out an old girlfriend who is worried that her husband will find out that she is cheating on him.

Director:

Stuart Rosenberg

Writers:

Tracy Keenan Wynn (screenplay), Lorenzo Semple Jr. (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Lew Harper
Joanne Woodward ... Iris Devereaux
Anthony Franciosa ... Broussard (as Tony Franciosa)
Murray Hamilton ... J.J. Kilbourne
Gail Strickland ... Mavis Kilbourne
Melanie Griffith ... Schuyler Devreaux
Linda Haynes ... Gretchen
Richard Jaeckel ... Franks
Paul Koslo ... Candy
Joe Canutt ... Glo
Andrew Robinson ... Pat Reavis (as Andy Robinson)
Coral Browne ... Olivia Devereaux
Richard Derr ... James Devereaux
Helena Kallianiotes ... Elaine Reavis
Leigh French ... Red Head
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Storyline

Harper is brought to Louisiana bayou country to help out an old girlfriend who is worried that her husband will find out that she is cheating on him. What is more, he finds himself caught in a power struggle between the matriarch of the family and a greedy oil baron, who wants her property. Poor Harper! Things are not as straight-forward as they initially appeared. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Harper days are here again... See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

18 July 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La piscina mortal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of a number of collaborations of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. See more »

Goofs

When Harper comes up the last time, from trying to turn the water off in the hydrotherapy room, his head bumps one of the ceiling panels and it clearly moves, meaning their attempts at breaking the panel were bogus. See more »

Quotes

J.H. Kilbourne: You know what she wants to do with that land, Mr. Harper? She wants to turn it into a Goddam sanctuary for birds!
Lew Harper: I think that's kind of sweet.
J.H. Kilbourne: Well now, look, I'm all for saving wildlife like the next fella, but we gotta think about America's future. Energy sources just aren't that easy to come by.
Lew Harper: Aha! Did you come to that conclusion out of patriotism or just greed?
J.H. Kilbourne: [after a pause] Little of both, Mr Harper, - like most men of wealth.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Natural Born World-Shaker: Making 'Cool Hand Luke' (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Dreams
(uncredited)
Performed by Tommy McLain and his Mule Train Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Underrated followup to Harper in a different key
18 November 2000 | by fs3See all my reviews

Where Harper was jazzy, amped up for its day and often dark humored in its intrigue and violence, this sequel has more of a laid-back and ultimately melancholy tone. The humor is still there, but the dysfunctional family theme that produced edgy laughs in the earlier film cuts deeper here.

Newman looks great and is as effortlessly effective as ever as he prowls Cajun Country, at the behest of onetime flame Joanne Woodward, in search of a blackmail source that quickly turns into much more. Filmed all over South Louisiana, including a mansion shot here in Baton Rouge, it gets the local flavor down pretty well.

Dismissed as draggy even in its day, and certainly so in the age raised on the newspaper ad quote "A Thrill Ride!!!", it's a thoughtful, well acted addition to the private eye genre, with Melanie Griffith coming out the gate full force as a troublesome nymphet (an interesting predatory flip-side to the victimized variation seen later the same year in the superb Night Moves.)

Hopefully a widescreen DVD will one day soon afford its excellent Panavision photography to be seen for the first time in 25 years.


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