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The Swimmer (1968)

Approved | | Drama | 9 August 1968 (Finland)
A man spends a summer day swimming as many pools as he can all over a quiet suburban town.

Directors:

Frank Perry, Sydney Pollack (uncredited)

Writers:

Eleanor Perry (screenplay), John Cheever (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Ned Merrill
Janet Landgard ... Julie Hooper
Janice Rule ... Shirley Abbott
Tony Bickley Tony Bickley ... Donald Westerhazy
Marge Champion ... Peggy Forsburgh
Nancy Cushman Nancy Cushman ... Mrs. Halloran
Bill Fiore Bill Fiore ... Howie Hunsacker
David Garfield David Garfield ... Ticket Seller (as John Garfield Jr.)
Kim Hunter ... Betty Graham
Rose Gregorio Rose Gregorio ... Sylvia Finney
Charles Drake ... Howard Graham
Bernie Hamilton ... Chauffeur
House Jameson ... Mr. Halloran
Jimmy Joyce Jimmy Joyce ... Jack Finney
Michael Kearney Michael Kearney ... Kevin Gilmartin
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Burt Lancaster hits the screen with a bolt of personal drama as "The Swimmer" See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 August 1968 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Schwimmer See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main location of Westport, Connecticut was the hometown of director-producer Frank Perry. See more »

Goofs

Julie's hair goes from brushed to windblown and back again several times in the same sequence. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in La Controfigura (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

The Swimmer: A Psychological Puzzle To Solve
24 February 2004 | by jm000See all my reviews

Ned Merrill, a Park Avenue (New York) executive, who marries into money (his wife Lucinda), produces two daughters (Ellen and Aggie) and lives a self-centered, self-serving, philandering life in a wealthy suburban community in Connecticut, has been absent from his social circle for a while. The entire story takes place on the day that he reappears. The length of his absence and where he was and what he was doing during the absence remains a mystery in this story. All that is certain is that Ned has had some sort of psychological break (amnesia or repression) and has lost the last two years of his memory. He thinks that it is two years earlier than it actually is. Generally, whatever was going on in his life two years ago is what he thinks is going on in this life on this day. Complicating this basic problem is an unstable perception of time, in which Ned's mind regresses in time during the course of this day, this regression revealing itself in Ned's comments concerning his daughters, Ned describing his daughters as being younger and younger as the day wears on until he is partially shocked back to reality (at the eighth pool, that of the Biswangers) into thinking that it is only two years earlier than it actually is. Between this partial shock back to reality and the end of the story, Ned is forced to remember what he has chosen to forget. On this day, Ned Merrill decides to `swim across the county,' that is, to `swim home' on `the Lucinda River,' a trek comprised of ten swimming pools that lead to his house: (1) the pool of Don and Helen Westerhazy, (2) the pool of Howard and Betty Graham, (3) the pool of Mrs. Hammar (this pool is not mentioned when Ned initially maps out the Lucinda River), (4) the pool of Mr. and Mrs. Lear, (5) the pool of Roger and Enid Bunker, (6) the pool of Mr. and Mrs. Halloran, (7) the pool of Mr. and Mrs. Gilmartin, (8) the pool of Henry and Grace Biswanger, (9) the pool of Shirley Abbott and (10) the public swimming pool. The evidence of what Ned has chosen to forget (as well as some things that he never knew), like pieces of puzzle, is revealed in what is said by the people with whom Ned interacts on this day, whereas what Ned chooses to remember is revealed in what he himself says. A good movie, I think. The viewer has to pay attention to the details in order to put the puzzle together. Burt Lancaster was 53 to 55 years of age during the filming of this movie. Most guys stop looking that healthy 20 years earlier.


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