A slick, stylish sequel to HARPER (1966), this private-eye film has Newman reprising the role of Ross MacDonald's cool gumshoe, Lew Harper. This time Newman is hired by Woodward, a Louisiana oil baroness, to find out who's behind a blackmailing scheme. The murder of Woodward's
mother-in-law (Browne) further complicates matters, but Newman slowly discerns that Hamilton, a greedy landowner who is already worth millions, is the culprit behind the blackmailing plot. The villain traps Newman and the lovely Strickland, Hamilton's wife, in a hydrotherapy chamber that is slowly
flooded, ergo the title of the film. This and a few other scenes are truly suspenseful, but for the most part the film is a synthetic, forced story peopled with some interesting characters and fine performances, including Franciosa as a police detective who was once in love with Woodward, Jaeckel
as Franciosa's sadistic police partner, Griffith as Woodward's teenage daughter, Robinson as the fired family chauffeur, and show-stealer Hamilton as the sleazy oil baron.
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