The Swimmer


Action / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO

Top cast

Joan Rivers Photo
Joan Rivers as Joan
Burt Lancaster Photo
Burt Lancaster as Ned Merrill
Diana Muldaur Photo
Diana Muldaur as Cynthia
Kim Hunter Photo
Kim Hunter as Betty Graham
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
751.40 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S ...
1.43 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
P/S 0 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jotix1008 / 10

Swimming home

Ned Merrill, the man in the center of this story, appears out of nowhere and takes a dip in the pool of the Forsburghs, who are his neighbors in suburban Connecticut. They act as though Ned is a long time friend, although one notices a certain reluctance in the part of the hostess to warm up to Ned. Our swimmer, looking to the distant homes nearby, declares he will swim across the area through all his neighbors' pools until he reaches home. This is quite an undertaking because he will have to cover a big area. As Ned Merrill keeps dropping on his neighbors a new image of him is made clear. His good looks and his athletic figure disguise a man that is miserable and has failed as a husband and as a father.

Ned's encounter with Julie Ann Hopper, the former baby sister he employed to mind his daughters, starts on an upbeat note. Julie Ann confesses on the big crush she had on him. He invites her to come with him swimming until he reaches his own home. Unfortunately, Ned tries too hard to make an impression in the young woman, something that turns her off completely, and the spell he had on her is broken. Julie Ann ends up running away appalled at Ned's sudden interest in her appears to be more sexual than friendly. Her idea of the man she secretly loved is shattered.

Ned meets all types of people; some are friendly, while others aren't exactly welcoming, like Mrs. Hammar, who tells him how he is not welcome in her house, let alone, in her pool. She resents him deeply for the way she perceived his treatment of his dying son. Ned strikes a good chord with the lonely boy selling lemonade. Not having money on him, Ned has to cut a deal with the child, plus he is instrumental in dispelling the fear of drowning from the boy when they enter the empty pool.

When he arrives at Shirley Abbot's patio, he gets a cool reception. We realize that both have been lovers, although all Shirley feels now is contempt for the man she loved so much. More of Ned's life is revealed as Shirley throws in his face all she had to put up with him and the hypocrisy of their relationship because he had no intentions in leaving his wife and daughters.

The last pool where Ned tries to swim proves to be the one where his past comes to play a trick on him. Not having the fifty cents for the entrance fee, he turns to Howie, a tradesman in town, and his friend Jack Finney, to lend him the money. As he exits the pool Howie and his wife, and Jack and his, confront Ned because the way he had used their services and not paid his bills.

The pathetic arrival of Ned to his dilapidated and run down house, is an affirmation of the image one had in one's mind about what appeared to be a secure and dashing man. Instead of a hero, Ned is more a creature that deserves pity. He had wasted his potential, and the happiness of his family pursuing a life that was instrumental in destroying what might have been a happy marriage. Now, broken in the middle of the pouring rain Ned is reduced to nothing.

"The Swimmer", a novel by John Cheever, chronicled the life in suburbia, that he knew so well. It took an important director, Frank Perry, to bring the book to the screen. Let's not forget that Mr. Perry had a string of films that are as important today as when they were produced, namely, "David and Lisa", "Diary of a Mad Housewife", "Last Summer", among them. "The Swimmer" was adapted by his wife, Eleanor, this 1968 film doesn't show any signs of aging, perhaps because of the situation presented is real and it keeps repeating itself. Dennis Quaid cinematography captures that ideal setting of rural Connecticut, its country homes and estates. Marvin Hamlish composed the musical score that blends perfectly with appears on the screen. Supposedly Sidney Pollack helped Mr. Perry, although he gets no credit for his efforts.

The best in the film is the inspired performance of Burt Lancaster. He makes a credible Ned Merrill with his good looks and physique. Mr. Lancaster's performance begins in a high note giving us the impression he is above his neighbors, who appear to resent him for what might be his success in life, although as the story develops, he is seen in another light by the viewer. Several performances are worth mentioning. Janice Rule as the suffering former lover does wonders with her role. Same can be said of Janet Landgard, who appears as Julie Ann. Others in the large cast are Kim Hunter, Marge Champion, Jan Miner, Rose Gregorio, and Cornelia Otis Skinner.

"The Swimmer" deserves a look thanks to the great work of Frank Perry and the inspired performance of Burt Lancaster.

Reviewed by MartinHafer6 / 10

"Everybody's going crazy today..."

"The Swimmer" is a film with a decent overall score and very positive reviews. Nonetheless, it's NOT a film for all tastes and it's certainly among the stranger films of 1968!

THe story is without context. It simply begins with Ned Merrill (Burt Lancaster) arriving unannounced at a friend's home across town. They haven't seen each other in some time and you have no idea where Ned's been nor what's occurred. All you know is that he has a weird go from home to home in the rich suburbs swimming across their pools until he eventually reaches his home. Why? You have no idea. And, through the course of the story, you learn a bit more about Ned...and how he's fallen from grace. But what did he go through?! What about his life? Amazingly enough, the viewers seem to know as much as Ned, as Ned is living only in the now and seems to have little recollection of the last 1-2 years of his life.

Well, this certainly was a daring role for Lancaster. Not only does it have a plot that is far from a crowd pleaser, but he has to briefly disrobe. He also acts the entire film with nothing on other than a bathing suit.

So is it any good? Well, the idea is interesting and the ending is pretty good....but it really seems like it would have worked better as a short film, as 95 minutes of all this seemed drawn out and overdone. A genuinely odd film.

Reviewed by bkoganbing6 / 10

The Stately Pools of Greenwich

This curious picture which could never break out from the art houses is one where Burt Lancaster gives a fine performance, maybe one of his best. The type of story that this is based on is one however that does not translate easily to the screen and the overall results are less than the top.

The Swimmer is based on a John Cheever short story and it's about a man who decides while visiting friends at one end of Fairfield County to swim in all the pools that the folks in his rich set have built on the way home. As he visits each home bit by bit we learn about him and the results in the end show a man quite frankly at the end of his rope.

Burt Lancaster probably was uniquely qualified to play Neddy Merrill. He was 54 when he made The Swimmer, but Lancaster who started out as a circus acrobat always kept himself in good physical shape. By the time he made The Swimmer he had the acting chops as well as the physical appearance to pull off the part.

More from the reaction shots of the people around him although their dialog becomes more and more explicit as time goes on, we learn about Lancaster's fall from grace in the set. He was a man who had achieved the American dream, wife, two daughters, big home in the fanciest of suburbs. But that's all fallen apart for him as bit by bit of his life and character are revealed. The last shots of Lancaster as he achieves this goal tell you all how worthless the swim trip has been.

Lancaster's best scenes are with young Michael Kearney as he tells him being the best early on won't necessarily translate to the good life. Also with Janet Landgard who was 'introduced' in this film after playing Paul Petersen's girlfriend on the Donna Reed Show. She was a beautiful young woman, wonder whatever happened to her.

We also cannot forget that encounter with his former mistress Janice Rule. She really cuts him down to size, but shows pangs of regret doing it. You also get a good picture of Lancaster's wife who is never seen who must have been obsessed with keeping up with the rich Jones that hang out in her neighborhood. His wife and kids must have sucked the life out of him.

The Swimmer was not a film for the mass market and parts of it are better than others. It starts out actually quite dull, but picks up more and more as you reach a shattering climax. Definitely an unusual assignment for Burt Lancaster.

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