***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.
Quite a unique picture in which Burt Lancaster spends ninety minutes in his swimming trunks. This in itself should be worth the price of admission alone but what we get is a story of self delusion and denial. With Lancaster in the lead role with have a man who is able to provide the all encompassing male persona, charming, physically impressive, affable whilst having the sense of a man who is going through a nervous breakdown, each swim and each person he meets slowly reminding him that the life he thinks he has does not exist. It is an odd film in many ways but as it proceeds it turns into a really haunting and tragic story and Lancaster is…
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.
"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.
a surrealistic masterpiece.
Starts as a nice day
But gets progressively worse
And colder and sad.
Burt Lancaster starts off as a fully formed god-man in the first third of this movie. People are ecstatically happy when he wanders into their backwards. He throws himself at women: people's wives, people's daughters, his children's former babysitter.. They throw themselves back at him. He speaks like a poet, or someone divinely inspired. And then, the rest of the movie happens. And Burt Lancaster brilliantly straddles the line between a god, and being pathetic. I have never REALLY appreciated Burt Lancaster until this movie. Both he, and the movie, perfectly straddle the line between exceedingly euphoric and exceedingly melancholic.
I haven't read The Swimmer, but I have read about 20-30 other John Cheever stories. And The Swimmer sticks out…
Great movie. Will rip your heart out and make you eat it.
I had no idea what to expect before watching The Swimmer – and after watching it, I am not completely sure what I saw.
The film tells the story of Neddy Merrill (Burt Lancaster) who after swimming in a friend’s pool decides to jog from pool to pool and swim in all the pools that span the valley in which he lives. On his trip through the valley, he encounters many all friends.
I won’t say much about the story – except that you know from the beginning that something isn’t quite right, that something in this idyllic, rich suburbia seems to be a bit off – you just can’t say what it is. The Swimmer is a weird mix…
THE SWIMMER is not a model of cinematic good taste, but, as it demonstrates, good taste isn't everything.
This is a very strange film, but its critique on the American dream is completely on point, and hits like a freight train by the end. I have thought about this film a lot since I first saw it, and I am very glad that Grindhouse Releasing put so much love into the Blu.
Need some more Pollack under my belt so I gave this a shot. Got midway through. Entertaining.
But yep, falls into camp, not a fan of the score, and never felt invested. Average even tho the premise is up my alley.
for those still mourning their weekly dose of late sixties ennui via mad men, this one has pools and pools of the stuff. fantastic.
***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,…