The Swimmer (1968)

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


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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
Charles Drake ...
Bernie Hamilton ...
House Jameson ...
Mr. Halloran
Jimmy Joyce ...
Jack Finney
Michael Kearney ...
Kevin Gilmartin


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The famed John Cheever short story appeared in the New Yorker and people talked. Now there will be talk again. When you sense this man's vibrations and share his colossal hang-up . . . will you see someone you know, or love? When you feel the body-blow power of his broken dreams, will it reach you deep inside, where it hurts? When you talk about "The Swimmer" will you talk about yourself? See more »




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 May 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Schwimmer  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Producer Sam Spiegel recruited composer Marvin Hamlisch to compose the film's score after seeing him play the piano at a party. See more »


When Ned and Julie are walking through the field, they both comment on the flowers visible, calling them marigolds and stating they usually aren't in bloom at that time of year. The flowers are Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia), not marigolds. If they were marigolds, in Connecticut they would be in bloom during the summer and early fall just as the Black-eyed Susans. Further, as marigolds are annuals that have to be planted each year, It is highly unlikely that would be found growing wild in a field. See more »


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


Featured in The Story of the Swimmer (2014) See more »


Send for Me in Summer
(Theme from 'The Swimmer')
by Marvin Hamlisch
See more »

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User Reviews

Unique, Beautiful, and Haunting
31 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I still have dreams where I'm at summer camp; 10 years old and running through the woods. The sun barely breaks through the thick forest canopy. There is no way for me to recapture that feeling in my adult life. No backpacking trip in a national park or well-planned vacation to an unspoiled beach can provide it. This is the problem of privilege: What seems to be a gift is really a loan. We spend the rest of our lives paying back this debt. This movie is fantastic. Burt Lancaster is the man. If you are a film fan and an American and you have not yet seen this film, then be careful! Save this one for a rainy day because you won't find many more like it. It's about living in the past, in a dream of what the present should be. It's about a privileged, womanizing, self-obsessed middle aged man who comes up with a plan to swim home that is clear only to him. "Why would you want to do that?", people keep asking him. Watch this movie alone and then don't talk to anyone about it. Keep it secret. Let it fuel you.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Burt Lancaster's looks and build. east215
God Awful Hamlisch Soundtrack wrose-3
Where did Ned come from? mike-2620
This film is so underrated TheGreatApplesauceCaper
What happened to ‘The Swimmer’ 2004 re-make with Alec Baldwin? john_s_wales
Film compared to original Cheever story mackjay2
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