Told by their parents that they are getting a divorce, Sport and Jeb Sharewood now have to decide who they are going to live with. They decide they would rather live with Aunt T, the woman they've met by traveling through a portal at the bottom of their swimming pool. Ar the other end is an idyllic world where children play and there are few adults. Aunt T is a kindly old woman but Sport is far more reluctant than Jeb to accept her invitation to stay with them. Written by
The "confrontation" sequence (where Jeb and Sport declare they don't have to live with their bickering parents anymore and dive into the pool for good), was actually written by Earl Hamner Jr. to be the climax of the story; it was also used at the beginning because the final version came up a few minutes short (Whit's "Howdy!" greeting as the kids emerge from the "swimming hole" and the tracking shot of the children in Aunt T's yard were repeated as well for the same reason). There was noise interference on the MGM back-lot during the pool sequences, and everyone had to be called back for post-dubbing, but actress Mary Badham wasn't available. June Foray was brought in to dub her lines. It was a "sloppy" job, and Rod Serling knew it. It was held until the very end of the season as the "final" show (where, it was figured, most people wouldn't notice, having tuned out of the series). See more »
In the second scene with Aunt T, Jeb silently mouths Sport's lines as she recites them. See more »
A swimming pool not unlike any other pool, a structure built of tile and cement and money, a backyard toy for the affluent, wet entertainment for the well-to-do. But to Jeb and Sport Sharewood, this pool holds mysteries not dreamed of by the building contractor, not guaranteed in any sales brochure. For this pool has a secret exit that leads to a never-neverland, a place designed for junior citizens who need a long voyage away from reality, into the bottomless regions of the ...
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A couple of others have said it already, but I have to add my voice to the chorus. How this POS ended up with a 6.8 is beyond me. The acting is terrible -- like a first-day run-through with tech personnel subbing for some of the uncast parts. The dubbing of the little girl is so bad as to make her almost unwatchable when she's on. The rest of the cast -- with the exception of Aunt T -- can't blame their bad performances on bad dubbing. The script is bad -- like a rough draft someone worked out on his lunch hour. And the story would be weird and tepid even without the weird continuity problem of the doubled footage -- it has a lame, unsatisfying ending unworthy of the series with its tradition of the supremely fitting denouements.
I only watched this because someone told me that the B-52's song "Private Idaho" made a lot of references to this episode, but other than the sample of the TZ theme and the general theme of character flaw getting some surreal comeuppance, I don't see it. Yes, there's a lot of talk of swimming pools in both, but even "The Swimmer" has more in common with the song than this.
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