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PAUL NEWMAN SUSTAINS HARPER IN 'THE DROWNING POOL'

year: 1975 cast: Paul Newman, Melanie Griffith, Joanne Woodward, Murray Hamilton, Andy Robinson, Paul Koslo, Linda Haynes rating: ***1/2
Paul Newman’s private eye Lew Harper is a glutton for punishment.... Going from the big city to Louisiana, he’s got plenty to look forward to, including getting framed by the local police, beaten up by gangsters and crooked cops, and practically drowned inside a sanitarium wash room, which provides a nail-biting climax and gives the film's title a literal meaning.

Melanie Griffith
The story has the standard pulpy, deliberately slow-paced rhythm and plenty of last names – if you don’t pay close attention, you might lose your place...

But even if the plot... of Harper’s ex girlfriend, Iris, a member of a sheltered family holed up in a plantation, being blackmailed by an monopolizing oil tycoon, gets too complicated... It’s all about the fact-gathering Harper never losing his cool or giving in to temptation...

Not an easy feat when teen harlot Schuyler, played by Melanie Griffith, a member of the targeted family Harper’s out to protect… and a red herring's lovely girlfriend Gretchen (Linda Haynes)… are full of steamy desire within the swampy heat of Louisiana, which becomes an important character in itself – the shrouded, mysterious vacancy contrasts with a character far more suited to the bustling mayhem of city life, where at least you can see 'em coming.
Paul Koslo as yet another thug making a grand splash
Paul Newman and a young Melanie Griffith
"Working girl or not, you've finally met something really wild."
Linda Haynes The Drowning Pool Paul Newman and Linda Haynes
The Drowning Pool with Paul Newman and Linda Haynes The Drowning Pool
Linda Haynes with Paul Newman in THE DROWNING POOL
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