The Swimmer (1968) Blu-ray
Swimmer Ned Merrill (Burt Lancaster) decides he is going to swim home, by skip diving into every neighborhood pool in the county. Along the way he meets and interacts with his neighbors.
It’s few and far between that a film catches me off-guard and strikes me as totally original. Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958), Charles Laughton’s Night of the Hunter (1955), Wojchiech Has’ The Saragossa Manuscript (1965), and some of Tarantino’s films (which borrow from earlier genre films) actually come to mind because they are some of my personal favorites. I have never seen a film quite like The Swimmer (1968). I got a vibe while watching the film that something wasn’t quite right. Its similar to the first time you watch The Sixth Sense (1999). However, The Swimmer improves upon multiple viewings. I sat upon my first viewing totally engrossed. Where the hell was this film heading?
My girlfriend also watched attentively and upon completion declared that my taste in movies is weird. Of course it is —what do you expect from a man who prefers watching El Santo battle monsters to Tom Hanks in anything? The late Roger Ebert gave The Swimmer four stars and claimed it was Burt lancaster’s finest performance. The acting performances and cinematography by David L. Quaid (Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!) are first rate. There is a dream-like “Twilight Zone” quality to the film that suggests what we are watching really isn’t happening.
I won’t reveal the ending. This is daring and most unusual film making which should appeal to odd film buffs. Its one of the hidden gems as far as I am concerned.
The new Blu-ray from Grindhouse Releasing is loaded with extras. I think I will tackle these tonight.