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Man on a Swing (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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Man on a Swing -- A small-town police chief investigating a murder is offered help by a self-described psychic. However, when the chief discovers that the "psychic" is in possession of information known only to the police, he suspects that the man may be more involved in the case than he lets on.


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Release Date:
5 February 1975 (France) See more »
Clairvoyant. Occultist. Murderer. Which?
A small-town police chief investigating a murder is offered help by a self-described psychic. However... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Haunting Sleeper See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Cliff Robertson ... Lee Tucker

Joel Grey ... Franklin Wills

Dorothy Tristan ... Janet Tucker

Elizabeth Wilson ... Dr. Anna Willson

George Voskovec ... Dr. Nicholas Holnar
Ron Weyand ... Dr. Philip Fusco

Peter Masterson ... Willie Younger

Lane Smith ... Ted Ronan
Joe Ponazecki ... Dan Lloyd

Christopher Allport ... Richie Tom Keating
Patricia Hawkins ... Diana Spenser
Richard Venture ... Man in Motel

Dianne Hull ... Maggie Dawson

Gil Gerard ... Donald Forbes
Robert Dryden ... Mr. Dawson

Alice Drummond ... Mrs. Dawson
Richard McKenzie ... Sam Gallagher
Brendan Fay ... Father Connally

Clarice Blackburn ... Mrs. Brennan

Nicholas Pryor ... Paul Kearney

Josef Sommer ... Pete Russell
Shawn Campbell ... Steve Barron
Ben Slack ... Ronnie (as Benjamin Slack)

Clarence Felder ... Coach

Penelope Milford ... Evelyn Moore

Bruce French ... Check-Out Man
Loretta Fury ... Mrs. Segretta
Roy Mason ... Plant Manager
James Galvin ... Man in Plant
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Carson Grant ... The Swimmer (uncredited)
David Hopsecker ... Clerk (uncredited)

Directed by
Frank Perry 
Writing credits
David Zelag Goodman (screenplay)

William Arthur Clark  book "The Girl on the Volkswagen Floor" (uncredited)

Produced by
Howard B. Jaffe .... producer
Original Music by
Lalo Schifrin 
Cinematography by
Adam Holender (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Sidney Katz 
Production Design by
Joel Schiller 
Set Decoration by
Hubert J. Oates  (as Hubert Oates)
Costume Design by
Ruth Morley 
Makeup Department
Robert Laden .... makeup artist (as Bob Laden)
Production Management
Tony LaMarca .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Eustace .... second assistant director (as Bill Eustace)
Louis A. Stroller .... first assistant director
Art Department
Stanley Cappiello .... scenic artist (as Stan Cappiello)
Walter Stocklin .... property master (as Wally Stocklin)
Sound Department
Jack C. Jacobsen .... sound mixer (as Jack Jacobsen)
Dan Sable .... sound editor
Dick Vorisek .... sound re-recordist
Arthur Bloom .... boom operator (uncredited)
James Perdue .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Dolan .... gaffer (as Bobby Dolan)
Edward Knott .... key grip (as Eddie Knott)
Muky .... still photographer
Fred Schuler .... camera operator
Gary Muller .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jim Hagerman .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Virginia Katz .... assistant film editor
Music Department
Dan Carlin Sr. .... music editor (as Dan Carlin)
Other crew
Tom Folino .... executive assistant
Maggie James .... script supervisor
Gerald S. Paonessa .... assistant to producer
Noni Rock .... production office coordinator
Susan Shonnard .... executive assistant
Charles Repole .... stand-in: Joel Grey (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
West Germany:105 min (TV movie) | USA:110 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Based on the book "The Girl on the Volkswagen Floor" by William Arthur Clark (1971) about the murder of young local schoolteacher Barbara Ann Butler in Kettering, Ohio (a suburb of Dayton).See more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Haunting Sleeper, 11 December 2012
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA

Oddball mystery that I suspect is not for everyone. Joel Grey plays a psychic, Franklyn Wills, who wants to help the cops solve a gruesome parking lot murder. On their first meeting he establishes some credibility by knowing a number of details not mentioned in the media, thus provoking the curiosity of head cop Lee Tucker (Robertson). How, we wonder, does Wills know these details. Is he a real psychic or maybe even the killer himself just playing games with the cops. Thus begins a stormy collaboration between the head cop and the psychic, as Lee not only investigates the murder but has to figure out what's going on with Wills who keeps coming up with more interesting facts.

This is one of the more unsettling films I've seen, mainly because Wills' behavior is completely unpredictable when he goes into his sudden psychic trances. He may leap on a desk, roll on the floor, or go into jerky spasms no matter where he is. Grey is an elfin-like presence anyway, so these sudden seizures are truly disturbing, even scary. When not in a clairvoyant state, he's not what you'd suspect from a killer, all smiles and disarming demeanor, even when Lee throws him against a wall in utter frustration. All in all, Grey delivers a cunning performance, one of the most unusual I've seen. His Franklyn Wills remains truly an enigma.

In contrast, Robertson wisely low-keys his role, with a deadpan expression, soft voice, and unblinking stare as he observes the strange little man who seems in communication with something—but what. And when Lee and his wife start getting strange phone calls and knocks on the door, everyone figure it's got to be Wills, but why. What could he hope to gain. His behavior seems beyond strange.

In a sense, the movie dwells almost obsessively with the relationship between these two. There are no real subplots or principal characters apart from them. Thus, it's two hours of trying to figure out whether Wills is a true psychic or not. The fact that the film is based on a true story makes the mystery even more intriguing. I suspect many folks are put off by the morbid undertones of the unvarying plot, and that plus an unconventional ending may have something to do with the film's obscurity. Nonetheless, for some folks, like me, it's a fascinating sleeper, with its own style of intrigue, and continues to cast a haunting spell.

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