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The Swimmer (1968)

Approved | | Drama | 15 May 1968 (USA)
A man spends a summer day swimming as many pools as he can all over a quiet suburban town.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Tony Bickley ...
...
Nancy Cushman ...
Mrs. Halloran
Bill Fiore ...
David Garfield ...
Ticket Seller (as John Garfield Jr.)
...
Rose Gregorio ...
...
...
Chauffeur
House Jameson ...
Mr. Halloran
Jimmy Joyce ...
Michael Kearney ...
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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:

 »

Company Credits

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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 Binswangers, a man climbs to the top of the cover over the pool and falls in, yet is not in the pool in the next shot where Ned is looking in the direction of the pool. 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 Allison Anders Interviews Marge Champion (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderfully Sad Portrait of Suburban Loneliness
2 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Frank Perry's screen adaptation of the achingly sad John Cheever short story gets the tone of Cheever's story just right, even if the movie itself doesn't have quite the same impact.

There have been countless strong and powerful films made around the theme of suburban loneliness, and this movie belongs to that genre. There's something so poignant about the idea that someone can exist in a world that's manufactured for the sole purpose of providing its inhabitants with luxury, pleasure and convenience, and still be miserable. You'd think people would have gotten the point by now, and figured out that privilege, wealth and materialism have virtually nothing to do with ultimate happiness, but if our own consumerist culture is any indication, they haven't.

What helps "The Swimmer" to stand out from other similarly-themed films is the way the story is told. It's only through the reactions of others that we begin to sense what's wrong with Burt Lancaster's character. To us, he looks the picture of middle-aged robustness and health. Lancaster became a much better actor as he aged, and he gives a wonderful performance here, as his bravado and macho virility (the strutting and preening of a man on top of the world) slowly dissolves into a lost insecurity, until the film's final devastating moments leave him as forlorn as a baby.

What a sad, sad movie.

Grade: A-


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