HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mad Dog Killer
Fanfan la Tulipe
Kickboxer: Vengeance
Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again
Clan, The
Madigan
Love & Friendship
Ones Below, The
Everybody Wants Some!!
Our Kind of Traitor
Star Trek Beyond
Lords of Dogtown
Hors Satan
Too Late the Hero
Jinnah
Ravishing Idiot, A
Girlhood
Whatever Works
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Speedy
Kama Sutra Rides Again
Panic
Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, The
Roxanne
Bucktown
Ricky
Golden Disc, The
Rock the Kasbah
Legend of Frenchie King, The
Holidays
   
 
Newest Articles
Manor On Movies: Beat On The Brat(s)
The Reality of the Heist Movie: Films that are based on real-life robberies
The SHADO Knows: UFO The Complete Series on Blu-ray
Siege Mentality: Rio Bravo and Assault on Precinct 13
Queens of Women: Five Cult Stars, Five Cult Films
Abstract Strategies: The Brothers Quay on Blu-ray
Born to be Cad: George Sanders and Psychomania
Speed Kills: The History of Fast Zombies
Skeleton Crew: The Blind Dead Movies
The Stars Are Out Tonight: Hollywood Celebrity Casts in the 70s
   
 
  Swimmer, The Modern Life Is RubbishBuy this film here.
Year: 1968
Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Janet Landgard, Janice Rule, Kim Hunter, Joan Rivers, Bernie Hamilton, Diana Muldaur
Genre: Drama, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Ned (Burt Lancaster) decides that it's such a beautiful day that he'll make his way home by swimming in the pools of his affluent neighbours. But as his journey goes on, things don't go as swimmingly as he'd hoped...

Frank Perry and Eleanor Perry adapted John Cheever's short story for this barmy 60's psychodrama. Part of the film's curious appeal is that it doesn't really explain itself - as it goes along it becomes clear that Ned's life is in a very sorry state indeed, but we never find out exactly what has happened to him or why everyone he meets seems to think that he's disappeared for at least a couple of years.

Burt Lancaster is perfectly cast here: tall, tanned, virile and beaming, he gradually shows the cracks in Ned's optimistic, self-satisfied facade until he ends up shivering, cowering and crying; a wreck of a man. At first, most people are pleased to see him, but eventually they're embarrassed or even upset by him.

Watching The Swimmer now, there is a definite element of camp there; for example, Lancaster spends the whole film wearing only swimming trunks (except when he takes them off to meet the nudists). And Ned seems equated with nature: he emerges from the forest at the start, he runs through the trees, he has visions of sunsets and a stallion, he races a stallion, he even pretends to be a stallion at one point. Yet by the end even nature has turned against him. And the dialogue is priceless, especially when spoken in Lancaster's measured tones - "Here's to sugar on the strawberries".

The whole film seems unimpressed with the hollow, soulless, hypocritical, middle class world it portrays. Is it this world that has worn Ned down, has he had some kind of mental breakdown under the pressures of contemporary life? Is this some kind of midlife crisis where his youthful dreams have come back to haunt him? Is he amnesiac? Is he even alive? Well, you could analyse this one until the cows come home. It's all very much of its time, and still unique.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 15922 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Frank Perry  (1930 - 1995)

American director who worked closely with his wife Eleanor Perry to create some curious work throughout the sixties: David and Lisa, Ladybug Ladybug, The Swimmer, Last Summer and Diary of a Mad Housewife.

After they divorced in 1970, Frank Perry's work became less interesting, although Doc, Play It As It Lays and Rancho Deluxe all have their fans. Mommie Dearest, his silly Joan Crawford biopic, has fans for other reasons. He was singer Katy Perry's uncle.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme music?
Superman: The Movie
The Dark Knight
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three ('74)
Star Wars
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Great Escape
Halloween
The Ipcress File
The Magnificent Seven
Back to the Future
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
  James Dixon
  Lee Trathan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
Darren Jones
  Rwerew Rewrwe
   

 

Last Updated: