Summer is coming, and what better way to languish away in the hot heat than poolside with Alain Delon and Romy Schneider? They star together with Maurice Ronet and Jane Birkin in Jacques Deray’s 1969 thriller “La Piscine,” a volley of sexual jealousies and resentments between four people vacationing in the Côte d’Azur, which provides the perfect backdrop to simmering psychosexual tensions. One of the biggest box office successes in France of all time, “La Piscine” is getting a re-release from Rialto Pictures this summer, kicking off with a two-week exclusive run at Film Forum in New York beginning May 14. Then, the restoration will begin a national rollout.
In “La Piscine,” Jean-Paul and Marianne (Delon and Schneider) are spending an idyllic holiday together at a luxurious villa near St. Tropez, loaned to them by a friend. Their sensual solitude is interrupted by the impromptu arrival of their mutual friend Harry, a garrulous record producer, with his 18-year-old daughter Penelope, whose existence they weren’t previously aware of. If this story sounds familiar, that’s probably because it inspired Luca Guadagnino’s 2016 movie “A Bigger Splash,” swapping in Matthias Schoenaerts, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, and Dakota Johnson for the French quartet in the original, which shot in September 1968 at the Ville Loumere overlooking St. Tropez.
“La Piscine” was written by Jacques Deray, author Jean-Claude Carrière (who died this year in February), and Alain Page, the pseudonym of Jean-Emmanuel Conil. Delon insisted on casting Romy Schneider, his former partner on and off screen with whom he’d cut things off a few years earlier. (They fell in love while making the 1958 movie “Christine.”) It’s said that Deray forbid the crew from swimming so as not to turn the set into a luxury getaway.
Deray made nine movies with Delon, including “Borsalino,” “The Outside Man,” “Borsalino & Co.,” “Flic Story,” “Le Marginal,” and “Le Solitaire.” Deray died in 2003 at age 74. Famously during the making of “La Piscine,” Delon was questioned on the film’s set by police about the murder of his former bodyguard in what became known as the “Markovic Affair.”
Exclusive to IndieWire, check out the new trailer for the re-release below.