The Drowning Pool
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Paul Newman returns as private detective Lew Harper is this tale of blackmail and murder based on a novel by Ross MacDonald. Iris Devereaux (Joanne Woodward), the wife of a wealthy oilman from Louisiana, hires Harper after she receives a threatening letter. A blackmailer is threatening to tell Iris' husband James (Richard Derr) about a recent extramarital affair; she claims this indiscretion never happened, though she has been unfaithful in the past, and years ago had a brief fling with Harper. Matters become more complicated when Iris' mother-in-law Olivia (Coral Browne) is found… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Stylish, improbable, entertaining, superficial, well cast, and totally synthetic."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A confusing and not very exciting private eye caper."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Solid Newman-Woodward detective thriller."
‑ Steve Crum,
"Unfortunately, Rosenberg directs flatly, hopping from one set piece to the next, disjointedly throwing characters of varying interest across Newman's path."
‑ , Time Out
"An interminable drag."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"About a cool gumshoe with a one-track mind — solving the case he's on"
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"As a convoluted caper it generates action rather than character and surface mystery rather than meaning."
‑ A.H. Weiler, New York Times
"This and a few other scenes are truly suspenseful, but for the most part the film is a synthetic, forced story peopled with some interesting characters and fine performances."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Dullish detective yarn that promises a great deal more than it delivers in story, direction or atmosphere."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for The Drowning Pool on Rotten Tomatoes