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
When the fire hose is used in the hydrotherapy room, Mavis is initially left propped up unconscious in the corner while Harper is hosed down and struggles to get up. Once Mavis is hosed, she becomes conscious. The hosing stops, a short conversation ensures, and then the hose is turned on Harper again. During this scene Mavis is briefly shown as she was initially, unconscious and propped in the corner. This segment was clearly the continuation of the initial segment before Mavis was hosed. See more »
Newman reprises his role as Lew Harper for the second and final time in the long-awaited sequel to 1966's HARPER, another twisting mystery; this time set in Louisiana. Unfortunately, THE DROWNING POOL was tepidly received by both critics and audiences, most of whom seemed to think the film paled in comparison to the original. I am one viewer who disagrees strongly with the general consensus in this case. Not only is THE DROWNING POOL a first-rate mystery thriller, but it is also one of the most sorely underrated films in Newman's filmography.
The film has a completely different look and feel than the previous film, which may have been the reason that so many critics and audiences unfairly rejected it. Gone is the sixties-era go-go mania, which has been replaced with the moody elements of modern film noir which perfectly suits the intricate story of murder and blackmail. The film may not have the starpower of the previous film, but it nonetheless offers solid work from Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa, and a particularly affecting turn from Linda Haynes. Best of all is the then-18 year old Melanie Griffith, who owns her role as the scheming bit of jail bait, unsubtly lusting after Newman's Harper.
Yet nothing can even come close to upstaging Newman, who is as commanding here as anywhere else in his career. In many ways this is a transitional effort for Newman, paving the way from early brutish roles (1958's THE LONG HOT SUMMER, 1963's HUD) to his latter day, more cerebral heroes (1982's THE VERDICT, 1994' NOBODY'S FOOL). Also, even at age 50, the man has rarely been sexier. To top things off, we also have one of the greatest, most original escape scenes in movie history - although I'm not giving it away; you'll have to check out this underrated thriller and see for yourself.
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