Monday, June 11, 2012

512. Deep End (1970)

Running Time: 90 minutes
Directed By: Jerzy Skolimowski
Written By: Jerzy Gruza, Jerzy Skolimowski, Boleslaw Sulik
Main Cast: Jane Asher, John Moulder Brown, Karl Michael Vogler, Christopher Sandford, Diana Dors
Click here to view the trailer


As "Deep End" opens, we witness one of our main characters, fifteen-year-old Michael (Brown), as he arrives for his first day of work at a European bathhouse. His co-worker, Susan (Asher), shows him around the place and suggests that older women who visit the bathhouse will enjoy the "company" of a young, viril, fifteen-year-old boy. Michael is shy and thus, pays no mind to Susan's comment and hopes to just earn a few dollars at his first job. However, Susan's warning proves truthful when various older, female customers at the bathhouse try to take advantage of Michael, only to be blown off by his awkward dismissals. After a while, Susan and Michael become good friends, Susan taking Michael under her wing. Later, Michael begins to develop a crush on Susan, however, she's much older than him and on top of that, she's engaged. Michael spends the rest of the film pursuing Susan, even going so far as to spend one evening tailing her through the city, while she's on a date with her fiance, Chris (Sandford). Michael also learns that Susan spends her hours at work "entertaining" the male customers, making sure they leave "satisfied", if you know what I mean. This sends Michael into a jealous fit and sends us into a beautiful climax, inside a water-less swimming pool.

This movie kind of crept up on me in that, I really wasn't seeing anything spectacular about it, until I got to about the three-quarter mark and then realized what a brilliant film I was watching. I knew I had heard the name Jerzy Skolimowski before and lo and behold, when looking up a few tidbits about "Deep End", I find that he wrote the screenplay for Roman Polanski's "Knife in the Water", probably my personal favorite Polanski film and a movie that should have been included in THE BOOK. Had I known that going in, I may have had higher expectations for "Deep End", but as it was, I had no expectations at all and was simply interested in knocking out a film from THE BOOK that has eluded me, thus far and one that I've had a hard time tracking down.


It's really the ending that makes "Deep End" a MUST SEE film. As previously mentioned, the climax of the film takes place in a water-less swimming pool, inside the bathhouse and sees Michael and Susan searching for Susan's lost diamond, which fell from her engagement ring. Michael finds the diamond when Susan is away on the phone and when she returns, she finds him lying naked in the swimming pool, the diamond in his mouth, ready to be swallowed. She begs for the safe return of the diamond, but realizes he isn't going to give it up unless she indulges him. Susan then strips naked, lays down with Michael, as water begins to fill the pool. Susan ends up getting her diamond back, but as she tries to exit the pool, is knocked in the head with a heavy light fixture and blood begins to pour from her cracked skull. The film ends with Michael holding the seemingly dead Susan underwater, while blood and spilled red paint surround them. It's really a fantastic climax, one that exudes beauty in the midst of tragedy. The rest of the film uses originality, great dialogue and great direction to substitute for the very low budget feel of the whole production, not to mention the treacherous acting from the leads.

RATING: 7/10  This is the nineteenth film that I've given either a '7' or '7.5' to during this 100 films. It's a shame that a lot of those will be completely left off the TOP 20, failing to receive even a "Ten Worth Mentioning" nod. This has truly been a great 100 movies.


June 11, 2012  11:53pm

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