The Swimmer (1968)
April 2, 2017 12:39 PM - Subscribe

Ned 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 decides to jog from pool to pool to swim the whole valley. At each pool, Ned stops and chats with his neighbors, each stop revealing more and more about Ned's life journey until he reaches his final destination.

"This is the day Ned Merrill swims across the county."
posted by rhizome (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm still trying to come up with words for this surprising movie.
posted by rhizome at 1:04 PM on April 2, 2017

On Cheever's original short story:
The story itself [pdf]
Grauniad review (2015)
New Yorker podcast (2011)
posted by rhizome at 2:37 PM on April 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

I saw this on late night TV when I was ten and had no freaking idea what I was looking at, except that it would be neat to have a swimming pool in our backyard.
posted by Mogur at 5:55 PM on April 2, 2017

I first saw this in my high school cinema class and found myself transfixed. I still can't think of another film quite like it.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:30 PM on April 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks for putting this on my radar. I had never heard of it, but it is exactly the type of film I like to watch.

As an aside, Burt Lancaster was 55 in 1968. Not only is it brave of him to wear nothing but a form fitting swimsuit the entire movie, he is in amazing shape for a dude in his middle fifties.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:33 AM on April 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

A great Marvin Hamlisch interview (15min) about the movie, which was his first movie credit.
posted by rhizome at 6:40 PM on April 4, 2017

Burt Lancaster is smokin hot in this, btw.
posted by MidStream at 4:21 PM on April 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

Wow. A friend recently posted a still from this movie on social media, a bunch of other friends chimed in to say that I had to see it when I had mentioned I hadn't, and the other night I finally remembered to look for a streaming version. After I watched it, I remembered that a teacher back in film school very quietly recommended it once. I wasn't really prepared for it.
posted by queensissy at 2:23 PM on March 25, 2019

And Joan Rivers!
posted by queensissy at 2:03 PM on March 26, 2019

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