A Movie A Day: Quint watches HARPER sequel THE DROWNING POOL (1975) Harper Days Are Here Again
Published at: June 4, 2008, 1:07 a.m. CST by quint
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Yesterday we talked about HARPER (1966) and today we have the sequel THE DROWNING POOL starring 1970s Paul Newman. I love 1970s Paul Newman, specifically for his work in THE STING. He’s a little more beat up, a little more rough around the edges in this era and it shows through in THE DROWNING POOL.
I was a little disappointed in the movie, to be honest. It’s not a bad movie, that’s for sure, but missing is the fire that Newman’s first run at the character had. It also felt a lot more muddled and confused than its predecessor.
However, I did feel the movie was worth the watch. One, it was great seeing Murray Hamilton, Mayor Vaughn himself, playing the main baddie the same year as his iconic sleazeball turn in JAWS. It was also good being reminded that Melanie Griffith was gorgeous in her youth.
In this flick, Griffith plays a Lolita-esque seducer and daughter of Joanne Woodward, Newman’s real life wife. Woodward ain’t bad, either, but everything that felt alive in the first movie felt flat to me in this one.
The cinematography, the script, the acting, the mystery… they all felt flat.
I missed having a femme fatale like Bacall, I missed the heart that Janet Leigh brought to the first flick. I missed the spark Newman had in the first film.
That said, the centerpiece of the film, Harper trapped in a flooding room, is very effective and the whole thing was worth the time if only to bask in Murray Hamilton chew the scenery.
Here are the titles for the coming week:
Wednesday, June 4th: PAPILLON (1973)
Thursday, June 5th: GUN CRAZY (aka DEADLY IS THE FEMALE) (1950)
Friday, June 6th: NEVER SO FEW (1959)
Saturday, June 7th: A HOLE IN THE HEAD (1959)
Sunday, June 8th: SOME CAME RUNNING (1958)
Monday, June 9th: RIO BRAVO (1959)
Tuesday, June 10th: POINT BLANK (1967)
What was your take on DROWNING POOL? What did you think? Let’s keep up the discussion in the talkbacks below.
Tomorrow we jump from THE DROWNING POOL to PAPILLON via writer Lorenzo Semple Jr. (who co-wrote DP with Walter Hill and Tracy Keenan Wynn) and trade in Paul Newman for Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. See you folks then.