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

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Overview

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7.7/10   4,759 votes »
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Up 151% 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:
The American nightmare! 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:
According to multiple biographies of Burt Lancaster, Barbara Loden's scene with Lancaster was reshot with Janice Rule as Loden's performance had overpowered him in the scene. Using Rule, whose performance was less powerful than that of Loden, restored balance to the scene.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Shirley is wearing a pink bathrobe on the other side of the pool, she picks up a red folder and knocks some pens and pencils off the table and picks up one of two pencils still on the table. When she gets up and leaves, there are more pencils on the table than in the previous shot.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:
Referenced in The Story of the Swimmer (2014) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Send for Me in SummerSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
28 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
The American nightmare!, 4 February 2007
Author: unreasonableboy from Dallas, Texas

What can you say about the swimmer that hasn't already been said. On reflection you have to feel sorry for Ned Merrill, certainly you can't have any sympathy for any of the characters he meets on his way! If he has suffered some sort of mental breakdown the question is why? This movie was set in the civilized environment of New England, Connecticut to be precise and it highlights the cozy drinks around the swimming pool and lavish dinner party Scean that is part and parcel of American culture.

It's perplexing to me that people would put so much expenditure and effort in putting in a pool something that you can only use in New England for about 5-6 months of the year. (Although in the Bizwangers case they added a sliding roof whereby at least they could use the pool all year round!) However the real reason for a pool in New England is to have your friends around, show off your pool and drink and eat to excess. However you can't be satisfied with that, in addition you have to have a pig roast with professional caterers and bar tenders to boot with a band playing in the back ground, thats real living. Material possessions are not just something to show off but are part of what is required to achieve status, without status in the US you have achieved nothing.

So how did Ned Merrill find himself in this predicament? In a conversation with Julie Ann Hooper he recalls that while on a transatlantic ship down in steerage he saw his wife to be, up in first class, he climbed over the barriers wooed her with his charm and that was the beginning of a whirlwind romance. So Ned Merrill found the inside track to achieve high social status. Next comes the huge wedding no expense spared, the grand house and soon the family. Status is not just 6 figure salary, but the house, the cars, the family, the job, throwing wild parties and being a member of an influential committee that's doing charity work. That's not it, being seen at $10000 plate political fund raisers, being a church deacon and basically rubbing shoulders with the movers and shakers in your suburban community is a requirement. At one scene at the Graham's Betty says to her husband "I wish we couldm travel more!" A bemused looking Howard says" why we have everything we want right here? That just sums up the attitude that the whole world evolves around their neighborhood. It epitomizes the culture of contentment and it's world of self importance.

Yet Ned Merills found to his cost that when his wife left him, or threw him out he found that everything else became very imbalanced and just like a house of cards once one falls the rest all comes down. Well you can figure out all of the sordid scenarios in sequence, many reviewers have tried but the bottom line is that your life and status can nose-dive into a downward spiral with marriage and work upheaval i.e. friends suddenly don't return calls, invitations to regular events don't turn up but worse you find that you are tapped of favors from colleagues and employment prospects start to very look bleak.

For people who live in such circles this must be their worst nightmare because you lose one you can lose it all. How do you adjust to such a dramatic change! In Ned Merrills case he became so obsessed in pursuing his American dream and totally absorbed in what he regarded as important that he fell into a state of self-propelling delusion.

Shallow, selfish people who put so much emphasis on status and material possessions as a sign of success find it hard to cope with such misfortunes . Why didn't Neddy just pack his bags and move to the west coast and start again? He can't, partly because of his pride and the fact that he was handed a lot probably makes it all the more harder. But the answer to the question is that he was conditioned to believe in a certain way and that without all of the above he was nothing, and he can't accept it?

All in all Ned Merill made things worse for himself, nothing to fall back on, nothing for a rainy day,no safe deposit box full of gold Krugerrands or cash. He threw everything into his lifestyle took himself too seriously and found very little sympathy from former friends, colleagues and acquaintances when the tide turned! Burt Lancaster was proud of this movie and so he should. His performance is very believable, he exuded confidence, happiness and the American spirit. Interestingly at the beginning of the movie he in no way portrayed a middle aged man on skid row which makes the ending even more disturbing when you see the state of him at the end. It could happen to the best of us, Was this what Cheever was trying to portray?

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