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The Drowning Pool

Where to Watch The Drowning Pool


The Drowning Pool is a riveting American neo-noir thriller from 1975, showcasing the sublime performances of the famous Paul Newman, the versatile Joanne Woodward, and the talented Anthony Franciosa. Directed by Stuart Rosenberg and based on Ross Macdonald's novel of the same name, the movie follows the thrilling exploits of private detective Lew Harper, played by Newman, as he navigates a convoluted case amidst a backdrop of violence, deceit, and family drama in the bayous of Louisiana.

Paul Newman reprises his role as Lew Harper, a role he previously essayed in the 1966 film 'Harper'. This time around, he is pulled into a labyrinth of intrigue and danger when an old flame, Iris Devereaux (Joanne Woodward), requests his help. Iris, a beguiling woman from the old money laden town of Louisiana, suspects her oil tycoon husband of infidelity and wants Harper to have a look into the matter.

However, things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Harper finds himself rapidly dragged into a whirlpool of crimes, secrets, and hidden agendas. The scandal rapidly escalates, roping in not only Iris but also her eccentric family. Fueling the tension more, Harper becomes embroiled in a murder case and is then framed for it, turning the seemingly straightforward gig into a dangerous cat-and-mouse game. The narrative fastens around Harper's dogged determination to elucidate the truth despite mounting odds, painting a gripping picture of crime, suspicion, and betrayal.

The film excels in painting a vibrant picture of the Southern atmosphere, rich with oil and old money. The distinct Louisiana charm, replete with its extravagantly powerful families, French Quarter decors, and the unmistakable bayou landscapes, fashions a character of its own in the story. The southern Gothic ambience not only enhances the plot but is also used cleverly to underline the tensions and conflicts racing beneath the town's surface.

Paul Newman delivers a sterling performance. His portrayal of the no-nonsense, quick-witted, and occasionally hardboiled detective Harper adds an incredible depth to the character. Joanne Woodward provides a strong counterpart to Newman's Harper. Her representation of the conflicted and sensuous Iris Devereaux is both compelling and exceptionally realistic. The chemistry between Newman and Woodward is palpacious and engrossingly volatile, making it one of the high points of the film. Anthony Franciosa's performance as the ruthless and intimidating local police chief Broussard produces several unforgettable moments. The overall cast ensemble adds a vivid palette of colors to the narrative.

The narrative is powerfully bolstered by the film's awe-inspiring cinematography. The intense close-ups, long shots of the bayou, and clever use of noir lighting play a significant role in setting the mood of the story. The score by Michael Small, rich with Southern blues and jazz tones, ties wonderfully with the story, enhancing both the atmospheric tension and the regional charm the film seeks to establish. Rosenberg's thoughtful direction steers the movie effectively through its slow burns and fast-paced sections with noticeable flair.

The Drowning Pool stands for its multifaceted and well-executed story. It's much more than just a simple detective story; it delves into the exploration of grating family dynamics, self-redemption, and the struggle to escape past mistakes. It's about the disconcerting ease with which old ruins can re-emerge, turning life upside down. The title of the film itself is emblematic, representing the metaphorical pool of past mistakes, personal demons, and scandalous secrets that can easily drown anyone involved.

In conclusion, The Drowning Pool is an engaging detective thriller, accompanied by a striking depiction of the Southern milieu, and perfectly underscored by the fascinating play of light and shadow in its production design. Compelling performances by a remarkable cast ensemble add to its charm. The film is a well-executed adaptation that will likely leave crime enthusiasts and classic cinema lovers satisfied with its clever narrative techniques and bold storytelling.

The Drowning Pool is a Thriller, Mystery movie released in 1975. It has a runtime of 109 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.5. It also holds a MetaScore of 48.

How to Watch The Drowning Pool

Where can I stream The Drowning Pool movie online? The Drowning Pool is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Drowning Pool for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Stuart Rosenberg
Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa, Murray Hamilton, Gail Strickland, Melanie Griffith
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