7.7/10
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The Swimmer (1968)

Approved | | Drama | 15 May 1968 (USA)
Neddy Merrill has been away for most of the Summer. He reappears at a friend's pool. As they talk, someone notices that there are pools spanning the entire valley. He decided to jog from ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Janet Landgard ...
Julie Hooper
...
Shirley Abbott
Tony Bickley ...
Donald Westerhazy
...
Peggy Forsburgh
Nancy Cushman ...
Mrs. Halloran
Bill Fiore ...
Howie Hunsacker
David Garfield ...
Ticket Seller (as John Garfield Jr.)
...
Betty Graham
Rose Gregorio ...
Sylvia Finney
...
...
Chauffeur
House Jameson ...
Mr. Halloran
Jimmy Joyce ...
Jack Finney
Michael Kearney ...
Kevin Gilmartin

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Storyline

Neddy Merrill has been away for most of the Summer. He reappears at a friend's pool. As they talk, someone notices that there are pools spanning the entire valley. He decided to jog from pool to pool to swim across the whole valley. As he stops in each pool his interactions tell his life story. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When you talk about "The Swimmer" will you talk about yourself? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 May 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Schwimmer  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Rivers' short scene took seven days to shoot. See more »

Goofs

At the pool scene with Lancaster and Janice Rule, a camera shot shows a palm tree in the backyard. Palm trees can't survive in the climate of Connecticut, where the film allegedly was filmed in its entirety. Perhaps when the scene was re-shot with Rule replacing Loden, location shooting had already wrapped. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Donald Westerhazy: Where have you been keeping yourself?
Ned Merrill: Oh, here and there. Here and there.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Charade (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

The Swimmer: A Psychological Puzzle To Solve
24 February 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ned Merrill, a Park Avenue (New York) executive, who marries into money (his wife Lucinda), produces two daughters (Ellen and Aggie) and lives a self-centered, self-serving, philandering life in a wealthy suburban community in Connecticut, has been absent from his social circle for a while. The entire story takes place on the day that he reappears. The length of his absence and where he was and what he was doing during the absence remains a mystery in this story. All that is certain is that Ned has had some sort of psychological break (amnesia or repression) and has lost the last two years of his memory. He thinks that it is two years earlier than it actually is. Generally, whatever was going on in his life two years ago is what he thinks is going on in this life on this day. Complicating this basic problem is an unstable perception of time, in which Ned's mind regresses in time during the course of this day, this regression revealing itself in Ned's comments concerning his daughters, Ned describing his daughters as being younger and younger as the day wears on until he is partially shocked back to reality (at the eighth pool, that of the Biswangers) into thinking that it is only two years earlier than it actually is. Between this partial shock back to reality and the end of the story, Ned is forced to remember what he has chosen to forget. On this day, Ned Merrill decides to `swim across the county,' that is, to `swim home' on `the Lucinda River,' a trek comprised of ten swimming pools that lead to his house: (1) the pool of Don and Helen Westerhazy, (2) the pool of Howard and Betty Graham, (3) the pool of Mrs. Hammar (this pool is not mentioned when Ned initially maps out the Lucinda River), (4) the pool of Mr. and Mrs. Lear, (5) the pool of Roger and Enid Bunker, (6) the pool of Mr. and Mrs. Halloran, (7) the pool of Mr. and Mrs. Gilmartin, (8) the pool of Henry and Grace Biswanger, (9) the pool of Shirley Abbott and (10) the public swimming pool. The evidence of what Ned has chosen to forget (as well as some things that he never knew), like pieces of puzzle, is revealed in what is said by the people with whom Ned interacts on this day, whereas what Ned chooses to remember is revealed in what he himself says. A good movie, I think. The viewer has to pay attention to the details in order to put the puzzle together. Burt Lancaster was 53 to 55 years of age during the filming of this movie. Most guys stop looking that healthy 20 years earlier.


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