La Piscine (1968)

Film, Drama
La Piscine

The 100 best French films

This film ranked #69 in Time Out's list of the 100 greatest French films. Click here to see the full list. 

Director: Jacques Deray

Four characters. A Mediterranean villa. Sun, sex and… suspicion. The ingredients are fairly simple in this star-powered psychological thriller which has remained underexposed outside of France. This is a deliciously languid, slinkily unsettling affair. Romy Schneider is all feline elegance and sphinx-like intelligence as the girlfriend of brooding wastrel Alain Delon. Their erotically charged St Tropez sojourn is interrupted by the arrival of flamboyantly smug Maurice Ronet with teenage jail-bait daughter Jane Birkin in tow. Little is said, but past indiscretions hang in the air. The ’60s trappings and jazz-meets-psychedelia score are treasure enough in themselves, but it’s Deray’s beady concentration on the pointed silences and angled looks which really turn the screw. Bourgeois-scum Claude Chabrol territory, essentially, but done with a more commercial eye for showing off Schneider and Delon’s bronzed curves.

 

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Cast and crew