- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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the best of the "art movies" of the 60s/70s
- ted eller jr
Absolutely haunting performance by Burt Lancaster. Most people don't realize this was adapted from a 3 page John Cheever short story. The ending is devastating. Cheever wrote about the upper middle class New York suburban "cocktail" class of the post-war period. Side note: good performance by a young Joan Rivers. TEJR
Overlooked Burt Lancaster gem
- Mr Wham
The mid-to-late 1960's were fertile ground in all the arts for satirizing American suburbia, with it's ethos of materialism, social-climbing and superficiality. Hollywood was no exception, from "The Graduate" to "Bob and Ted and Carol and Alice," and many others, including this 1968 film, "The Swimmer," in which Burt Lancaster attempts to return to his suburban home by swimming from pool to pool in his wealthy neighborhood, only to find that you really can't go home again. Based on a John Cheever story, "The Swimmer" could easily have descended into a maudlin soap opera. But thanks in large part to Lancaster's riveting performance, this odd, pointed, slightly-surreal film ultimately packs quite an emotional wallop. The film works as allegory, though perhaps it's a bit obvious on that level; as satire, where it's wicked take on the American bourgoise may be lost on some but will be quite thought-provoking to many others; as a sort of 60's cultural icon, a good example of one of the more reflective and innovative periods in all areas of American art; and perhaps best, as a character study, relating one man's idealized vision of his (rapidly-fading) youth and his unwillingness to face up to himself or the facade all around him. Another ambitious, adventurous role for the always-daring Lancaster, who made a career out of taking chances on films of substance. Not for those who require a "satisfying," feel-good Hollywood ending.
Frankly, I am in awe of the reviews of this film. I saw the movie when it aired on May 15th. I could not stop watching the film only because it was the weirdest thing I had ever seen. I looked it up online to find the title after explaining to a co-worker how bizarre it was. The film still leaves a giant question mark in my mind. I understand the message- just a very, very strange way to convey it. To sum up, they must have been on a lot of drugs in the 60's.
Risky & great
- Jarrod McDonald
I'd rank this one with BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ in terms of Lancaster's best. He excels at stories where the lead character is a lone anti-hero on a personal journey. The level of intensity and the depth of emotion that he summons is fantastic. And the truly extraordinary care he puts into his roles is unlike anyone else. There are a lot of memorable sequences in this film. I particularly liked the part where he thinks the boy is going to dive off the board...and the stuff at the water park was very good. Much has been written about the scene that Sidney Pollack directed in this film. It's a rather long scene, but one of the more powerful ones. And then there's final shots of Lancaster arriving at his home in the rain...dynamic.
I saw this movie this afternoon (Saturday, May 15), and I've caught parts of it on Youtube. The ending was sad. When Ned (Burt Lancaster) arrived at his house, it was raining, the door was locked, the house was empty, and he was crying. What happened to his wife and kids? Did she take the kids and leave him? Did she sell the house? Did they get divorced? The ending left us with some unanswered questions about his wife and kids. But otherwise, it was a good movie.
- Mary Davis
I saw this movie in San Francisco the summer of 1968. I was working there for 2 weeks to cover for an employee on vacation.I was from NY I went to the matinee just to kill some time and really enjoyed it. I remembered this movie after all these years. The only difference is I thought it took place in Calif not Conn. I remember Burt Lancaster. I was never a fan of this but did enjoy the movie.
Burt Lancaster Magnificient
- Maria Ramos
Loved the movie. Followed every step or swim of the way. I wondered why the character wasn't invited to any of the parties when he was known so well especially by the women characters. The year this movie takes place is very important 1968. It was a turbulent time. It was the time of the haves and the have nots. It was interesting to see what the haves had and how they lived. Burt Lancaster looked so beautiful in this film, so pleasing to the eye. A cult classic!
- virginia hogan
this movie captivated me i was moved from beginning to end and i so wish it could be released on dvd you can feel how each individual interaction between burt lancaster and the woman or man or child he encounters is awesome you can actually envision the depth of his pain and how tortured he is you are compelled to want to help him and at the same time distance yourself from him you can feel how beautifully he embraced the lonely child and in a matter of minutes made him feel cared for and more confident and you can see his strength ebb and flow though each adventure he is gorgeous to behold how strikingly and deeply and beautifully is the a cting he makes you feel what he is feeling and the intenese mind blowing eternal effect he has on all he personally physically and mentally touched i think everyone should see this film at least once
The Swimmer (1968)
- James Higgins
I am a bit surprised at the extremely high ratings for this film, it is a good film, but it is so obvious in its symbolism. Good performances, fine score. Its an odd film, it held my interest but dont see it as any better than above average.
A MUST SEE MOVIE
- PHILIP J. VERZAL
A MOST EXCEPTIONAL MOVIE. IF HOWEVER YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY, WATCH IT IN BLACK AND WHITE INSTEAD OF COLOR. THE MOVIE IS SHOT IN SUCH A WAY THAT IT ALLOWS YOU TO ACTUALLY FEEL THE EMOTIONS THAT NED IS FEELING AT THE SAME TIME. IT IS TRULY A MASTERPIECE IN MY ESTIMATION.
The Swimmer -- An important film.
One of my favorite films, this takes one to the world of Cheever stories effectively. It was probably Burt Lancaster's most courageous personal performance and provides wisdom. Perhaps, it's sixties stylistics may keep it from being perceived as an important classic. I, however, call it an important film because of how it captures thanks to the Cheever story, the performances, the filming and score a key aspect of NY and life in mid century suburban America.
John Cheever Fully Realized.
- charles pope
Columbia/Horizon put this film on the scrap heap of late night television(ABC) Thr film was shot in Connecticut in 1966 with a few of my frineds in it for extras. I think Columbia re shot some scenes in 1968 with Janice Rule and dir by Sidney Pollack. I first caught the film in 1971 on late night tv. I was swept off my feet. " Why would anyone want to swim home" ? I would find out later in the film and reading John Cheever stories. I dont think anyone other than Frank and Eleanor Perry could have made this film. The whole cast from Kim Hunter to House Jamison is just fine. Typical abstract dialogue between Ned Merril ( Lancaster) and Joan Rivers at a poolside party. Merril: "I,m swimming home" Rivers" I,ve never heard that before" Merril: ..." Come with me ..be my love" Rivers: That.....I,ve heard before"! The opening credits tell the viewer that this is not an ordinary film and Marvin Hamlisch, scoring his first film, bats 1000 especially when Merrill encounters Julie Hooper.( Langard) After seeing this film only once, I began my own journey through the works of John Cheever.this film used to be on VHS and DVD. A Must See /Multiple Viewings
i love this film!!