The Swimmer (1968)

2015 #122
Frank Perry | 95 mins | streaming (HD) | 1.85:1 | USA / English | PG / PG

Magnificently strange film about a man (Burt Lancaster) who decides to ‘swim’ home through his friends’ pools. It becomes clear they know something he’s forgotten…

A strange air means this quickly begins to feel like a Twilight Zone-esque mystery, but it’s actually something else entirely… though to reveal too many secrets would spoil it. Lancaster is fantastic as an ultimately complex character, there are good supporting turns, and Frank Perry’s direction is evocative, though Sydney Pollack helmed one vital scene.

Now obscure and consequently tricky to see, The Swimmer is a forgotten gem that’s worth unearthing if the opportunity arises.

4 out of 5

I only know of The Swimmer thanks to the ghost of 82. His appreciation is very much worth a read.

This drabble review is part of the 100 Films Advent Calendar 2015. Read more here.

2 thoughts on “The Swimmer (1968)

  1. Glad you enjoyed it. I really must watch this again. Such a magical little movie.

    Don’t you just hate it though when you see a great movie where part of its appeal is discovering its mysteries so you can’t really actually talk about it in-depth for fear of spoiling it for others? Maddening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Especially obscure movies. If you want to discuss something like Fight Club or The Sixth Sense or Citizen Kane in depth, bung in a spoiler warning for the tardy, but most people have seen it. Bit more awkward when most people haven’t heard of something.


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