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France/Italy, 1969
Directed by Jacques Deray
With Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Maurice Ronet, Jane Birkin
In French with English subtitles
Approx. 123 min. DCP restoration.

Lazy St. Tropez vacation beside the Hockneyesque swimming pool (la piscine) for lovers Alain Delon and Romy Schneider — until her ex Maurice Ronet suddenly drops in with his daughter Jane Birkin — and, as a former ménage à trois becomes a ménage à quatre, mortal consequences loom. Long a cult film in France, where it's celebrated as a masterpiece of Gallic Noir — but with much of the action taking place around the colorful, sun-splashed swimming pool of the title. Music by Michel Legrand. Screenplay by Jean-Claude Carrière and director Deray.



Part of DELON


“Four ravishing stars, an equally beautiful villa in St Tropez, expanses of lithe caramel flesh and enough pouting sexual tension to light up the Empire State Building. It’s no surprise that thrill-deprived post-lockdown filmgoers in New York have been diving into LA PISCINE, having a languid dip, hauling themselves out and diving in all over again.”
– Ed Potton, The Times

“STRIKING... A PRISTINE RESTORATION... Pretty people behaving poorly in beautiful settings is something we don’t see as much of in cinema. This is a MASTER CLASS in the subgenre, and one of UNUSUAL DEPTH.”
– Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

Time Out

“ICILY EROTIC! Seething passion and emotional chaos lie beneath the symbolically placid surface of the villa’s swimming pool, which becomes the site for both seduction and violent revenge.”
– Dave Kehr, The New York Times

“Erotic languor turns gradually into fear and then horror in this gripping and superbly controlled thriller... The pool is a primordial swamp of desire, a space in which there is nothing to do but laze around, furtively looking at semi-naked bodies.”
– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Romy Schneider’s crowning cinematic moment, where she delivered her most enchanting onscreen performance.”
– Manon Garrigues, Vogue Paris

“Very occasionally we see a film so awkwardly yet compulsively enjoyable that it forces the highbrow viewer to own up: one that takes his or her notion of a Guilty Pleasure and elevates it to the status of High Art. Few films pull off this trick as consummately as LA PISCINE. Set in a to-die-for villa in the verdant hills overlooking Saint-Tropez, this icily elegant pas de quatre involves four of the most outrageously photogenic actors to ever appear on screen... Nothing that happens from here on is a surprise, exactly. We sit and revel in the glamour of it all, waiting for those hormonal and homicidal impulses to boil over — as, of course, they do.”
– David Melville, Senses of Cinema

Film Forum