Fun & Fabulous

Iconic movie swimming pools

There’s something about a swimming pool that feels so luxurious — a feeling that's only exaggerated when the magic of Hollywood includes a pool as a stunning backdrop. Here are three iconic Hollywood-inspired pools
luxury home

There’s something about a swimming pool that feels so luxurious. Perhaps because the most iconic movie swimming pools usually accompany sweeping country estates or jaw-dropping modern mansions. But don’t be fooled: pools, even modest pools, are not exactly cheap to run – particularly in the diversely climatic country of Canada.

Of course, weather-concerns aren’t really an issue in temperate southern California and, particularly, in Hollywood where having a pool is basically as common as having a garage. As a result, pools have woven their way into our culture and become a highly-desirable home feature for those with deep enough pockets.

If you’ve been toying with the idea of installing a swimming pool in your home, or simply dreaming about how you might spend fantasy lottery winnings, we’re here with some design inspiration. Here are three stunning, iconic swimming pools — straight off the silver screen — to leave you feeling like a movie-star in no time.

Perfect pool #1: Great Gatsby and the Perfect Party Venue

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The best-known pool party scene in pop culture is arguably that tracking shot from Boogie Nights, but 2013’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby definitely takes the crown for being the most ostentatious. Known for his cinematic flair and vision, director Baz Lurhmann packs out Gatsby’s parties with champagne, jazz bands, flapper girls and everybody who’s anybody in the world of the moving picture. If you’ve seen the film then you know that it’s the impressive swimming pool that steals the limelight.

The circular pool beautifully complements the shape of Gatsby’s mansion, while the inclusion of a central island (including gangways to reach it) creates the perfect stage for dancers and, eventually, the host of the night. The white marble setting provides a stunning backdrop for any event.

Perfect pool #2: Tom Cruise in Oblivion

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Compared to The Great Gatsby, the 2013 film Oblivion (starring Tom Cruise), was slightly more subdued. Set in a future where Earth has been ravaged, this futuristic flick is filled with less champagne and more spaceships. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll probably remember the incredible pool that Victoria (Andrea Riseborough’s character) pulls him into.

It might not have been especially large or deep, but the breath-taking part is that it’s entirely transparent, appearing to almost hover in mid-air. There are stunning views of not only the clouds above, but the sky below as well. The best way to imitate this in a non-science fiction context is probably with an infinity pool, which uses glass and an “overflow” edge to give the illusion of blending seamlessly with its surroundings.

Compass Pools

The great news is that the Oblivion pool — and it’s infinity-edges — are the easiest luxury feature for homeowners. Many west coast and costlier pools will use the infinity-like drop to exaggerate space and stunning views.

Perfect pool #3: Flawless Rooftop Pool in Skyfall

Let’s be honest, who hasn’t ever fancied becoming an elite secret agent? Well, how about turning that dream into a reality by building yourself a pool that’s worthy of 007 himself? You might remember the scene in the 2012 film Skyfall, where Bond is holed up in Shanghai, awaiting his next orders. An establishing shot shows a brilliant blue pool atop a skyscraper, beneath a glass roof. The camera then cuts to Bond, as he swims lengths parallel to the Shanghai skyline.

Building your own rooftop pool might be slightly beyond the realms of possibility. There’s no need to feel bad about it – even Daniel Craig isn’t in the location he appears to be. The scene was actually shot at the Virgin Active Health Club adjacent to the Four Seasons in Canary Wharf, with the cityscape composited in later.

Recreate the magic in your own garden by installing an understated rectangular design that includes plenty of underwater lighting. A clear, retractable canopy will be the perfect cover to swim in all seasons, plus, just like James Bond, you’ll be able to enjoy the pool without another person in sight.

Dakota Murphey
Dakota Murphey

Dakota Murphey is a Brighton, UK-based content writer. She writes on a variety of topics including homeowner tips, smart tech, travel and business planning.