6.5/10
4,072
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:

Just a guy trying to keep his head above water. 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

The film's source Ross Macdonald 1950 novel of the same name was set in Southern California but the setting was moved to New Orleans for this filmed version. See more »

Goofs

During the scene when Mavis (Gail Strickland) and Harper (Paul Newman) are turning on the water to try to flood the hydrotherapy room, Mavis is first shown in close-up and there is no sign of the over-the-shoulder straps of her bra. But once the room is shown in a wide shot, and for the rest of the scenes in that room, she is wearing a bra with straps that should have been visible in the close-up. See more »

Quotes

Iris Devereaux: [as a man is staring at them in an antigue store] Is he looking at me?
Lew Harper: I think he was a little more interested in me.
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

Intriguing, carefully paced mystery.
17 October 2002 | by Poseidon-3See all my reviews

Ten years after Newman's success in "Harper" as the title private investigator, he reappeared in this follow-up. While the caliber of the cast can't hold a candle to the stellar first film, the acting and mystery elements are excellent. Woodward plays a wealthy Louisiana woman who once had a brief fling with Newman. She hires him to find out who's blackmailing her about her extramarital dalliances. Once he lands in the bayou, he is immersed in several confusing and complicated situations involving sex, real estate war and murder. Newman is utterly appealing as the hard knock investigator, Woodward is cool and refined, Franciosa puts his method acting to good use and Hamilton puts an enjoyably quirky spin on a villainous role. Griffith effectively plays Woodward's sexually ripe daughter and Browne adds great authority in her brief appearance as Woodward's domineering mother-in-law. The plot is extremely convoluted and risks losing all sense at times, but it all comes about in the end. The actors succeed in making the audience want to see more of what they are all about. The title refers to a climactic scene in which Newman and an exasperatingly upset cohort are trapped in an enclosed hydrotherapy room which is filled to the brim with water. This affords a rare opportunity to see the relatively modest Newman trotting around in damp boxer shorts. The film utilizes (perhaps overutilizes?) the song "Killing Me Softly" throughout. The film is like a reunion of sorts for Newman. Aside form his frequent collaborations with his wife Woodward, she and Franciosa had starred with him in "The Long Hot Summer", Hamilton had appeared in "The Hustler" and Jaeckel co-starred with him in "Sometimes a Great Notion". Director Rosenberg has also directed Newman in "WUSA", "Cool Hand Luke" and "Pocket Money". Years later, Griffith would appear with Newman in "Nobody's Fool".


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