The Swimmer

1968

Drama

The Swimmer (1968) download yts

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Burt Lancaster as Ned Merrill
Kim Hunter as Betty Graham
Diana Muldaur as Cynthia
Joan Rivers as Joan
720p 1080p
751.40 MB
1280*720
Approved
23.976 fps
1hr 35 min
P/S Unknown
1.43 GB
1920*1080
Approved
23.976 fps
1hr 35 min
P/S Unknown

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by RedRoadster 9 / 10

The Swimmer: A Psychological Puzzle To Solve

"The Swimmer" is a one of a kind movie, adapted from a John Cheever short story.

The Film opens with the sound of footsteps moving through the woods accompanied by a low eerie music. Occasionally animals and scenes of nature both in daylight and at night come into the cameras focus. The camera moves along looking at trees, a lake and the wildlife clearly representing what someone is seeing as they walk along. Eventually, a man clad only in a pair of black swimming trunks emerges from the woods, skips up to the edge of a suburban swimming pool and dives in. Having swum a couple of lengths he is greeted at one end by the owner of the house holding out a drink and welcoming him to come and join his guests. The Swimmer is Ned Merrill (Burt Lancaster) and it soon becomes apparent that everyone at the house knows him and is happy to see him. He is charming and charismatic with the male guests and flirtatious with the females who obviously find him attractive. The other guests have not seen him for quite some time and when Ned is asked where he has been he evasively states "here and there." When further questioned if he has had a good summer he replies "sure, just great." The guests then begin to look puzzled when he gives answers to further questions that just don't seem to make any sense. They exchange confused looks and clearly know something that we don't. Ned, whilst looking out over the Connecticut valley begins to get an idea that he could swim in stages back to his house by using briefly the pools of several of his neighbours. he boldly announces that today he plans to "swim across the county !"

As Ned visits each house and swims in each pool something more is revealed about his life and how he has behaved towards others in the past. Some people are pleased to see him, others are contemptuous of him and a few downright hate the sight of him.

What becomes clear (SPOILER AHEAD) is that Ned has been away for a long time and re emerges into the life he once knew believing that it is about two years earlier than the present. He appears to have been a high flying Manhattan advertising executive who had the house, the car, the wife and the money but lost it all by living a life of pure selfishness. We are told that he married into the upper middle class and seems to have been given most of the success he enjoyed. At the various different pools he is revealed as a cheating husband, a bad father, a crook and a "fair weather friend". The result of his behaviour was that his wife either kicked him out or he was fired from his job or both.

It is possible that Ned's fall from grace brought about a nervous breakdown which has led to his memory loss and distorted view of reality. He may have even been hospitalised for the period that he is absent from the neighbourhood, but the absence is never explained. It is also unclear what became of his wife and daughters. They might simply have left him, but there are hints that they may actually be dead.

The final scene where Ned eventually arrives "home" and his disillusionment is brought crashing back to reality is a great piece of symbolic storytelling.

Most of "The Swimmer" was shot in 1966 and finally released in 1968. Maybe back then audiences weren't ready to question the themes that are raised. Central to the story is the falseness of the American dream and how if you're not "somebody" you're not only a nobody, but you're also not even welcome. The film "American Beauty" made in 1998 takes the same swipe at society and is a great film in its own right, but "The Swimmer" made thirty years earlier, is so much more effective at exposing the corrupt underbelly of the professional suburban existence.

Burt Lancaster played many memorable roles and was certainly in much more enjoyable movies, but I think he does his finest acting in "The Swimmer." He is perfect as the arrogant yet vulnerable and bemused Ned who cant work out whats going on. The movie does appear dated today and the musical score is very sixties, but any serious film fan should definitely see this at least once. It really is unforgettable.

Reviewed by sol1218 10 / 10

Cleansing of the Soul

"The Swimmer" was a critical and financial disappointment back in 1968 when it was released because it was a subject matter that was never covered before in the movies, as far as I know. The film was so ahead of it's time that the viewers back then couldn't quite understand just what it was trying to tell them.

The movie starts off with Ned Merrill, Burt Lancaster, coming out of the woods in rural Connecticut wearing nothing more then bathing trunks to his neighbors Donald and Helen Westerhazy, Tony Bickley and Diana Vander Vils, home. After impulsively taking a dive into the Westerhazy's swimming pool Ned gets the idea of going home by swimming in all of his neighbors pools, that ring the neighborhood, until he reaches his home on the other side of the woods.

The Westerhazy's seem happy and at the same time surprised to see Ned who seems, by their conversation with him, to have been away for some time. From what we can gather from the talk between Ned and the Westerhazy's Ned's, or Naddy as they call him, a very successful person in both his work and his marriage to his lovely wife Lucinda with whom he has two beautiful daughters; in short Ned is a success in everything that he ever did.

We first begin to notice that there's something wrong with what Ned's talking about himself and his wife and daughters when his neighbors seem startled and taken back a bit by Ned's boasting, that's the only word I can come up with in regards to the way Ned is talking about himself. The Westerhazy's want to say something but settle not to and seem to play along with Ned's story telling. It's like you would do with a youngster who's making up things in order not to hurt his or her feelings.

As Ned starts to swim from swimming pool to swimming pool every one of his neighbors who's pool he swims through begin to put a piece of the puzzle of Ned's life into place. Even the swimming pools that Ned swims through begin to take a different look like the insight that the audience gets about Ned's past.

Going from swimming pools in private homes and mansions to the public pool at the local recreation center where Ned has to borrow .50 cents, which came as a great shock and embarrassment to him and his ego, to swim in. We also begin to see during his swimming adventures in the movie Ned slowly being worn down. Vigorous and athletic looking in the beginning of the film, for a 50 or so year-old, Ned turns into a broken down and pathetic looking old man toward the end.

Even though the movie doesn't come right out and say it the audience comes to see just what Ned is really all about through the people that he meets, who reveal bit's and piece's of his past, in his quest to swim home through their swimming pools; And at the same time so does Ned by the time he makes it home.

Ned's the type of person that everyone watching the movie can either relate to or identify with as someone that everyone's come across in their life. Ned's a person who lives in a dream world that he built around himself and doesn't want to see reality until it hits him right between the eyes. You have to see the movie a number of times to realize what it's trying to tell you about Ned: What he's all about? Where does he come from? What's the story with his wife and daughters? What did he have to do with those neighbors that he comes in contact with in the movie and most of all what state of mind is Ned in?

You somehow begin to realize that there's something wrong with Ned almost as soon as you see him but you just can't put your finger on it. "The Swimmer" makes you think, as soon as the credits start to roll down the screen, where you know that something isn't quite right with the picture and the person in it but it takes some ninety five minutes to see it for what it is. The movie does it by putting together all the swimming pools that Ned swims through like some kind of cleansing of Ned's soul that conditions him for the hard reality that's about to strike him at the conclusion of the film.

Reviewed by evanston_dad 8 / 10

Wonderfully Sad Portrait of Suburban Loneliness

Frank Perry's screen adaptation of the achingly sad John Cheever short story gets the tone of Cheever's story just right, even if the movie itself doesn't have quite the same impact.

There have been countless strong and powerful films made around the theme of suburban loneliness, and this movie belongs to that genre. There's something so poignant about the idea that someone can exist in a world that's manufactured for the sole purpose of providing its inhabitants with luxury, pleasure and convenience, and still be miserable. You'd think people would have gotten the point by now, and figured out that privilege, wealth and materialism have virtually nothing to do with ultimate happiness, but if our own consumerist culture is any indication, they haven't.

What helps "The Swimmer" to stand out from other similarly-themed films is the way the story is told. It's only through the reactions of others that we begin to sense what's wrong with Burt Lancaster's character. To us, he looks the picture of middle-aged robustness and health. Lancaster became a much better actor as he aged, and he gives a wonderful performance here, as his bravado and macho virility (the strutting and preening of a man on top of the world) slowly dissolves into a lost insecurity, until the film's final devastating moments leave him as forlorn as a baby.

What a sad, sad movie.

Grade: A-

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