THE SWIMMER (1968)
Movie Review from AlohaCriticon
Underrated and forgotten cinematographic jewel by Frank Perry developed in a strange and suggestive trip through the feelings and memories of a man of peppy looking who lives a dreary and obsessive existence. Obsessions expressed in oneiric and surrealist passages determined by a damaged memory.
A sensational Burt Lancaster, in a fantastic physical shape at the age of fifty five, is the protagonist of an absorbing and sad tone film. A film between mind boggling and nostalgic, it takes advantage of all its resources in order to exploit the principal character and to make an acid social comment on the failure of the American Dream.
Eleanor Perry (the film director’s wife) adapts a short story by John Cheever in this movie, co-directed by Sydney Pollack (the exceptional scene with Burt Lancaster and Janice Rule, his former lover) and with Marvin Hamlisch in his debut as a cinematographic composer, in charge of the soundtrack.
Among the female characters that Ned Merrill encounters throughout his fascinating trip, Janice Rule (The Chase) and Janet Landgard stand out. The last one was not very fortunate at the cinema because after this film, due to the commercial failure, she only appeared in minor movies such as the spaguetti western entitled Land Raiders (1969).