The great Norwegian cartoonist Jason recently got a boxed set of Paul Newman movies and has been reviewing them — for instance, THE DROWNING POOL:
The sequel to Harper, made nine years later. Paul Newman is hired by an old flame, Joanne Woodward, who is being blackmailed. Also starring Melanie Griffith as jailbait, directed by Stuart Rosenberg.
I can understand why the private detective genre seems pretty dead. Unless you put in a car chase or something, and still keeping things realistic, there is not that much action to be had. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was very good, but what else has there been? Brick and The Big Lebowski, but neither of those were straight detective stories. The Drowning Pool is not a bad film, but a bit slow, in a 70s way. There always seems to be a chauffeur in these stories, and as usual, they are never up to any good.
For those who wonder how the laconic Jason puts together his stories — which flawlessly merge the constant ache of acute loneliness and romantic longing with the plots from classic potboiler movies and books and anthropomorphic animal comics — these terse observations provide a valuable clue to his thinking.
On his blog he also occasionally posts old art like this this illo from the late ’90s: