Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Forgotten Movies: THE SWIMMER

Forgotten Movies: THE SWIMMER




I have talked about this movie before in some context but here it comes again.
In 1968, Frank Perry took a great John Cheever story and made a terrific film. It is the story of a man, living in suburban Connecticut, who comes up with the idea he can swim from pool to pool in his neighborhood, finally arriving home. The element of time in this movie makes it especially interesting. The time of year, the state of the swimmer, the time of life, changes that occur as he makes his swim. Only Burt Lancaster could look so fetching in his late fifties here. An amazing little film. One of my favorite small films for sure.

9 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

I'll admit, Patti, I've not seen this one. But I have heard about it, and I'm glad you reminded me of it.

George said...

I love the John Cheever short story and I love this film!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

We saw this one when it first came out in 1968 - we went to the movies every weekend then - but appreciated it more when I saw it again years later. I never read the Cheever story until 2012. Perry did a really good job adapting it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely did not even know about this one

J F Norris said...

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this movie when I first saw THE SWIMMER and I was relatively young. Definitely in my 20s. There's something slightly surreal about the whole thing. It also has a metaphysical quality to it that appeals to me. My favorite scene will always be the one where he swims in the empty pool with the boy teaching him how to swim in imaginary water.

R. T. (Tim) Davis said...

It was a great movie! I know that I enjoyed it without "understanding" it. Cheever's metaphysical trope was way over my head then. When I read the Cheever story, things began to make sense: can we possibly connect with others from within our own existential isolation? I'm not sure of the answer. (Cheever's own life: he was "the swimmer")

pattinase (abbott) said...

That would seem to be true in the bio I read. A very complex and difficult man. It is very surreal as the seasons change during his swim.

Elgin Bleecker said...

Great movie and great, great short story.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I feel like pulling out the collection and reading it right now. And then the one about the radio.