Watch Now: THE DROWNING POOL
Written by American-Canadian crime fiction writer Kenneth Millar under his frequently-used pseudonym Ross Macdonald and published in 1950, The Drowning Pool is a mystery novel from the author’s body of work revolving around private detective Lew Archer. A quarter of a century upon its release, the book was successfully transferred to the big screen. With Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa and Murray Hamilton in front of the camera, and Cool Hand Luke and The Amityville Horror director Stuart Rosenberg pulling all the strings, The Drowning Pool turned out to be a stylish adaptation the popular novel really deserved.
Walter Hill was hired to prepare the material for the transition to the screen, but left the project after his initiative to “put a little more muscle in Lew Archer’s pants” was ignored in favor of a direction Hill called “a highway to dullsville”. Nine years since he played Macdonald’s charismatic detective in Harper, Paul Newman gladly reprised the role in this unofficial sequel. The Drowning Pool might not have found an awful lot of fans in the critics’ circle back in the day, but it’s still an underrated, intelligent and slow-burning thriller that stands out even in the noir-stacked 1970s.