IMDb > The Swimmer (1968)
The Swimmer
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The Swimmer (1968) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   4,787 votes »
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Down 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Eleanor Perry (screenplay)
John Cheever (story)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Swimmer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 May 1968 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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 »
Plot:
Neddy Merrill has been away for most of the Summer. He reappears at a friends pool. As they talk, someone... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Swimming for Eden See more (111 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Burt Lancaster ... Ned Merrill
Janet Landgard ... Julie Hooper

Janice Rule ... Shirley Abbott
Tony Bickley ... Donald Westerhazy

Marge Champion ... Peggy Forsburgh
Nancy Cushman ... Mrs. Halloran
Bill Fiore ... Howie Hunsacker
David Garfield ... Ticket Seller (as John Garfield Jr.)

Kim Hunter ... Betty Graham
Rose Gregorio ... Sylvia Finney
Charles Drake ... Howard Graham
Bernie Hamilton ... Chauffeur
House Jameson ... Mr. Halloran
Jimmy Joyce ... Jack Finney
Michael Kearney ... Kevin Gilmartin
Richard McMurray ... Stu Forsburgh
Jan Miner ... Lillian Hunsacker

Diana Muldaur ... Cynthia
Keri Oleson ... Vernon

Joan Rivers ... Joan
Cornelia Otis Skinner ... Mrs. Hammar
Dolph Sweet ... Henry Biswanger
Louise Troy ... Grace Biswanger
Diana Van der Vlis ... Helen Westerhazy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philip Bruns ... Biswangers' Pool Party Guest (uncredited)
Alva Celauro ... Muffie (uncredited)
John Cheever ... Man at pool party (uncredited)
Lisa Daniels ... Matron at the Biswangers' Pool (uncredited)
Hugh Franklin ... Denny (uncredited)
John Gerstad ... Bunkers' Pool Party Guest (uncredited)
Marilyn Langner ... Enid Bunker (uncredited)
Ray Mason ... Bunkers' Pool Party Guest (uncredited)
Dennis McMullen ... Lifeguard (uncredited)
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Directed by
Frank Perry 
Sydney Pollack (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Eleanor Perry (screenplay)

John Cheever (story)

Produced by
Roger Lewis .... producer
Frank Perry .... producer
 
Original Music by
Marvin Hamlisch 
 
Cinematography by
David L. Quaid (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Sidney Katz 
Carl Lerner 
Pat Somerset 
 
Art Direction by
Peter Dohanos 
 
Costume Design by
Anna Hill Johnstone 
 
Makeup Department
Ed Callaghan .... hair stylist
John Jiras .... makeup artist
Clay Lambert .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Joseph Manduke .... executive in charge of production
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Hertzberg .... assistant director
Ted Zachary .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Stanley Cappiello .... scenic artist (as Stan Cappiello)
Thomas Wright .... property master
 
Sound Department
Willard W. Goodman .... sound mixer (as Willard Goodman)
Jack Fitzstephens .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Falk .... gaffer
Michael Nebbia .... additional photographer
Alan Stetson .... key grip (as Al Stetson)
 
Music Department
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator
Jack Hayes .... conductor (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Lorenzo Porricelli .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Thom Conroy .... dialogue coach
Sam Goldrich .... unit auditor
Florence Nerlinger .... production assistant
Barbara Robinson .... script supervisor
Liza Stewart .... swimwear (as Elizabeth Stewart)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
95 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:11 | UK:PG | USA:Approved (Suggested for Mature Audiences) | USA:PG (re-rating) (1968) | West Germany:16 (f) (original rating) | West Germany:12 (f) (re-rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Burt Lancaster said of this film in an interview with 'Take 22': "...the whole film was a disaster, Columbia was down on it. I personally paid $10,000 out of my own pocket for the last day of shooting. I was furious with 'Sam Spiegel' because he was over at Cannes playing gin with Anatole Litvak while he was doing The Night of the Generals (1967). Sam had promised me, personally promised me to be there every single weekend to go over the film, because we had certain basic problems - the casting and so forth. He never showed up one time. I could have killed him, I was so angry with him. And finally Columbia pulled the plug on us. But we needed another day of shooting - so I paid for it".See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Send for Me in SummerSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
22 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
Swimming for Eden, 21 September 2005
Author: Judson Knight from United States

Judging by the comments here, apparently I'm not the only one who was incredibly moved by this masterpiece--a masterpiece of storytelling on Cheever's part, that is, and a more than passable film portrayal of what one might call "the perfect short story." If HBO had existed in the 1960s, and Rod Serling had written for it, this is what "Twilight Zone" might have looked like: a tangled, twisted terrain of the human psyche that leads to the deepest of our fears--and the most profound of our hopes. The stakes for Ned Merrill, as we come to discover, are about as high as they can be for any character not caught in a literal life and death struggle. But he might as well be, judging by the size and fearsomeness of the phantoms that haunt his way. For this reason I think I'd say that other than *Glengarry Glen Ross,* this is the most terrifying film ever made.

In contrast to many others, however, I don't think Ned is delusional: I think he's spent so long believing his own publicity, as it were, that he hasn't fully accepted what has happened to him. (And of course, "what has happened to him" is almost entirely of his own making, which makes his predicament all the more painful because it seems to offer no hope of redemption.) And he's clearly one of those hail-fellow-well-met types who, when he promises he's going to do something for someone--as he continually does in the movie, right up to the point where he promises to pay his bill to a local proprietor--he truly means it, at least in the moment.

Additionally, "The Swimmer" seems like far too profound a work to tie it to themes as dreary and shopworn as the emptiness of suburban life or the dark side of the American dream. Granted, a great deal of powerful literature, dating back at least to Nathanael West's *Day of the Locust*, has been written around the second of these ideas, but "The Swimmer" seems to speak to something much deeper, a haunted place in the human soul. In the ads for the movie--which, in sharp contrast to the brilliant development of the story itself, attempted to lay out all the details in a way at once pedantic and almost pandering (as previews in those days tended to be), a voice-over asks if the viewer might see Ned in him- or herself.

*The Swimmer* is an epic, but an unusual one. Not because of the small scale and the deceptively trivial-seeming stakes involved it the epic journey--that's an idea Joyce introduced years earlier in *Ulysses*--but because of that journey's destination. Ned isn't going toward a new land, but back--back to nothing short of Eden. And if it's an epic, then he's a hero of sorts, and not entirely an antihero either. After all, even with all the things you learn about him along the way, it's hard not to root for Ned Merrill.

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Worth a 10 for the amt of time of Burt in a bathing suit bpollen
Where did Ned come from? mike-2620
This film is so underrated TheGreatApplesauceCaper
Missing Animation Sequence kenichiku
Burt Lancaster's looks and build. east215
Joan Rivers mikebrace
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