Sunday, January 19, 2020


This review originally written for The Oregonian in 2014.

Burt Lancaster may have been Old Hollywood, but he was right there with the avant-garde in the late 1960s, starring in an adaptation of John Cheever's short story The Swimmer.

Lancaster plays Ned Merrill, a well-to-do middle-aged man in the New York suburbs. One summer day, Ned realizes he can get from his friend’s home on the hill back to his own house by going from one backyard swimming pool to the next.

Each new watering hole brings Ned in touch with different people while also revealing more about his unraveling life.

It’s a movie that you’d assume would be impossible to pull off, but The Swimmer is an audacious concept executed with surprising aplomb.

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