The Swimmer

The Swimmer

DVD - 2014 | Widescreen ed
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Wealthy suburbanite Ned Merrill loses everything and, by blocking out the last two or so years of years of his life, he deceives himself that he hasn't lost anything. His deception is revealed as he confronts former friends while swimming from one pool to another on his way to his old home. Some genuinely try to help him. As he proceeds, though, he runs into people who he mistreated in the past, and now speaks hostilely to him. He finally arrives at his old home, which is locked and empty.
Publisher: [United States] : Grindhouse Releasing, 2014
Edition: Widescreen ed
Branch Call Number: DVD 791.43 SWI NVD
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 95 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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c
Courier2003
Nov 25, 2019

I am a Burt Lancaster fan. This has too be the worst of his work that I have seen. Never knew he was cast in Swimmer, never heard of it till now. A dull and boring story to swim across the county. He was a superb athlete especially when he did the circus high wire on the swings with Tony Curtis.

JCLMikeK Oct 14, 2019

A very unique, dreamy, and compelling '60s film based on a short story by John Cheever. It didn't make much of a splash when it first came out, but has since developed a little cult following, and it's worth a watch if you're a fan of films from that era. The less you know going in the better, but I will say that it features a terrific performance by the great Burt Lancaster.

A good film, although "The Twilight Zone" could have done it in thirty minutes flat.

Note to the website editor: John Cheever's middle name was William, not "Swimmer.:"

g
guiltbyaccusation
Jul 22, 2019

if you enjoyed the film , read the story which inspired it: for many unaswered questions that the secondary source inspires, have already been answered, in the primary source.

c
ClarkHarveyRoth
Jun 19, 2019

I'd never heard of "The Swimmer" until I encountered it on a list of the 100 Saddest Movies of All Time. It made me sad & also a little nauseated, honestly, beginning as a celebration of day drinking & suburban aristocracy & then descending into great personal darkness. It occurs to me that what's most remarkable in Burt Lancaster's acting more generally is how he never lets himself become too sympathetic...on the surface he's an attractive & cheerful everyman, but his characters routinely shift sideways into the confused, compulsive, morally complex beings that people really are. Influenced by the era in which it was made, perhaps, the film also has the tart afterburn of a nightmare acid trip at moments, & this is when it really registers its maximum strength. Five stars getting fresh with the babysitter! CR

v
voisjoe1_0
Nov 23, 2017

Lucky for me, I didn't read the library web-site description, as it contains about the biggest spoiler I have ever seen. It starts out slow and happy. It builds up steam and has quite a few bomb-shells in the last half. It is one of the best films I've seen this year. Watch the deep grief on Lancaster's face when he gets rejected or feels that things are going downhill fast (similar to his great acting in "The Leopard" and "Judgement at Nuremburg). This film bombed at the box office, probably because it was too advanced for its time. The theme is self-deception. Relevant for 2017 - Trump believes himself loved and great, but this is only his self-perception and the perception of a minority of perhaps 30% or less of Americans (and only autocrats outside of the USA).

p
pl8
Feb 05, 2017

Bizarre is an overused word. This film is genuinely bizarre and unpredictable. Luckily it was smart enough to clearly remind the audience that the main character is definitely not a hero, specifically in the scenes with the chauffer and the young girl. I suppose if its about anything its a depiction of a member of the privileged class who wants to simultaneously feel free in a self-absorbed rousseauian way and still cling to his privilege without recognizing the contradiction. Very well made, great romantic cinematography and musical score.

w
whiterabbitt
Sep 05, 2014

Ideal for those who love a good psychology film. This is perfect for trying to understand the mind of a broken man searching for something that will make him whole again, only to find all that he had is gone ... then the final scene break down. This film is hugely undersung and also one of Burt Lancaster's finest. Hey, even the recently deceased Joan Rivers has a small roll ... and not as a comedic character.

h
hoacornell
Jun 02, 2014

Just a very original screenplay and terrific acting by Burt Lancaster. He is surrounded by wealthy friends but somehow seems to be missing something. This won't be a movie for everyone, certainly not children. It is an adult subject, but a good one for a discussion group.

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