The name Stuart Rosenberg will never be forgotten by a certain breed of film lover. To others, he may never gain any kind of a foothold at all. Rosenberg was a solid craftsman of sturdy dramatic work but he was also a crucial crafter of some of the most important parts of Paul Newman’s legend. He directed him in “Cool Hand Luke,” the ’60s answer to “Rebel Without a Cause.” But he’ll always most importantly be the director of the first movie of the end of Paul Newman’s youth.
A sequel to Newman’s early detective movie “Harper” (and a quasi-sequel to “Cool Hand Luke,” with its sweltering summer setting and collection of country-fried adversaries), “The Drowning Pool” wasn’t a movie for which many were clamoring. But to me, it’s an unmissable Newman hang. As the air tries to strangle us, stay in with this sunburnt country noir tonight.
To watch more of Scout Tafoya’s video essays from his series The Unloved, click here.