***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…
When you talk about "The Swimmer" will you talk about yourself?
Neddy Merrill has been away for most of the Summer. He reappears at a friends pool. As they talk, someone notices that there are pools spanning the entire valley. He decided to jog from pool to pool to swim the whole valley. As he stops in each pool his interactions tell his life story.
The opening shot pans over luscious green trees to reveal the youthful looking back of a man diving into a rich blue swimming pool. Burt Lancaster emerges out the over end, tanned, lean and defying every bit of his 55 years. He spends every minute of the film wearing nothing but his swimming trunks, looking great and knowing it, an appearance that ripples away as easily as the pools he dives into.
Journeying with Ned through the connecting hills of white upper middle-class suburbia lifts the lid on those who seem to have it all. Broken marriages, secret lovers, racism and shallow parenting lie buried underneath a glittering veneer of expense.
At times it's a strange and surreal approach used…
I'm not a huge fan of Burt Lancaster. If you were ask me why, I wouldn't really have an answer. He doesn't annoy me, I have no complaints about his acting, he looks okay in swimming trunks(This is off topic, but I'd love to see Lancaster from this film and Kirk Douglas from The Fury (1978) battle it out). I have nothing bad to say about him and, yet, I dunno, I'm just not feeling it.
I say this quite often but for someone who has seen thousands of films, I still have a glaring gap in my viewing. I had not seen The Swimmer before nor did I really have any knowledge about it, apart from my husband telling…
As a pointed commentary on "modern living" (b/w some sly scuttlebutt about the gulf between haves and have-nots), as a sympathetic yet unflinching depiction of a man's misspent life, as an embodiment of his fractured delusions, as a cautionary tale about the poisonous allure of nostalgia, as a possibly accidental case of form mirroring function (cf. the mismatched cuts serving to reflect Merrill's addled state of mind), and most definitely as a testament to Burt Lancaster's ability to simultaneously embody virility and vulnerability, this film is 99.99.99% perfect.
The Swimmer is a bewitchingly hallucinatory experience, which starts off as a fun adventure and progresses into a character unravelling step by step and pool by pool to the point of disintegration.
Burt Lancaster is magnetic and searing in a phenomenal performance, and pulls off a film spent entirely in his swimming trunks.
Through Lancaster, The Swimmer evolves into a terrible souring of the American dream. A very 60s revelatory experience with an echo that wont leave your mind.
Few films expose the mundane truth about suburban existence as painfully yet poignantly as Frank Perry’s The Swimmer. Once lost, and now back from the great beyond thanks to the folks at Grindhouse Releasing (love, love, love ‘em), this is definitely something more than just a somewhat quirky vehicle for star Burt Lancaster, which is what I initially expected it to be. It begins with a genuine sense of wonder and whimsy and ends on a very dark and sad note. It isn’t always an easy watch in spite of its likable protagonist and seemingly cheery demeanor. The film’s power is increased significantly by the element of surprise. And even without that, it’s still a curious acquisition for the company;…
"What happened...nothings turned out...nothings turned out the way I thought it would. When I was a kid, I used to believe in things. People seemed happier when I was a kid. People used to love each other, what happened?"
A film about a man who has been figuratively swimming through other people's pools all his life, coming to this realization himself while literally swimming through other people's pools. Burt Lancaster crushes it, and aside from some of the stranger moments, such as when they are jumping over the equestrian obstacles, this film is pretty tight and on point with its message.
I first read "the Swimmer" by John Cheever in a collection of supposedly hard-to-find sci-fi* stories that were adapted into movies. The book also included "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" and "the Color from Space." I've wanted to see this movie ever since, and it lived up to expectations.
Ned (Burt Lancaster) emerges from the woods, jumps into a friend's pool, and decides he'll swim all the way home. Going from house to house and pool to pool, we learn about Ned. His life, his family, his loves, his past. It all unravels as he gets closer to home. I don't know that I've seen a story told quite like this before.
If you read the other reviews…
still pretty fucking weird. What other movie has an extended slow-motion sequence of Burt Lancaster running around like a horse?
This is a great little movie based on a short story of the same name by John Cheever. It shows a lot of backyard pool parties being crashed by a man who is supposed to be portrayed as very handsome and middle aged yet who has lost his mind, which slowly becomes apparent as he socializes. Watch to see what happens when he finally completes his "swim" to his house in the upscale suburbs at the very end.
A sad, strange movie about a man who challenges himself to swim the pools of the friends and acquaintances from one end of the county to his house. What he finds on the way home becomes sadder and stranger as his challenge continues. Burt Lancaster puts in probably his best-ever performance in this stunning, heartbreaking film.
Un canto a la vida y a la libertad, en esta extraña y original trama, sobre un vigoroso Burt Lancaster, que hace de nuestro nadador aventurero, que se dedica a volver a su casa nadando por las distintas piscinas que se encuentre.
En el recorrido se encuentra a gente de clase alta, donde podremos ver sus miserias y caprichos absurdos. En algunas casas mejor recibido que en otras, y donde podemos ver datos sobre su pasado especialmente, su pasado de mujeriego, a traves de las mujeres despechadas con las que estuvo. Un mundo, que para él ha cambiado. Sin embargo nuestro prota, durante ese camino tendrá una transformación, que le hará ver la auténtica realidad de su presente. El mayor contraste se verá en la piscina final, donde aparece gente de clase media.
Como siempre, Burt Lancaster está a la altura, y en esta ocasión los obstáculos que se encuentra para obtener su proposito son numerosos.
Completely engaging from start to finish. A special and rare sort of film that takes a simple story and combines it with a complex character study full of both optimism and delusion.
I love run on sentences.
A hypnotic tale that draws you in with its upbeat presentation but take you deeper and deeper into a world of shame and regret. What a Twilight Zone movie would look like if they went for one of the more human stories, Lancaster owns the screen as a man swimming through his entire life. We learn, almost in real time, the entire history of his character. The movie may not wow with its tension or pacing but it's eiree nature, beatuiful compilation and interesting charcter interaction pull you along. The movie makes you feel as if you are submerged in water with its out of body nature and by giving us a reality that is just slightly off. A very strong movie for those that like a great charcter study.
This guy was probably a hero to Patrick Bateman as the originator of a rich shitty guy who can't remember any proper details about his life and tries to fuck everything he can.
Alicia en el país de las piscinas. Muy bien esto.
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.
The Gentlemen's Guide to Midnite Cinema is a podcast discussing all films genre related; covering everything from horror to Wuxia,…