Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Swimmer, The (1968)

Swimmer, The (1968)

Based on a short story by cult writer John Cheever, The Swimmer stars Burt Lancaster as a washed-up suburban man who decides to swim home, using all the pools in his neighbourhood en route.

This is not only healthy – and Lancaster looks terrific in his trunks – it’s a metaphor for alienation from affluence, sexual desire, Vietnam – you name it, it’s all at the bottom of the deep end.


Not to everyone’s taste, this weird picture now seems an oddly powerful companion piece to The Graduate (1967).

The Swimmer was later referenced in a Levi jeans advertisement where a hunk took a dip in a dozen pools to the strains of Mad About the Boy.

Ned Merrill
Burt Lancaster
Julie Hooper
Janet Landgard
Shirley Abbott
Janice Rule
Donald Westerhazy
Tony Bickley
Peggy Forsburgh
Marge Champion
Mrs Halloran
Nancy Cushman
Howie Hunsacker
Bill Fiore
Betty Graham
Kim Hunter
Joan Rivers

Frank Perry
Sydney Pollack