The Swimmer
The Swimmer (1968)

In this film, Burt Lancaster plays a wealthy, middle-aged advertising man, who embarks on a revelatory journey through suburban Connecticut. Lancaster slowly makes his way to his split-level home by travelling from swimming pool to swimming… More

Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: May 15, 1968
DVD Release Date: April 29, 2003
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader

A resounding commercial flop, this has since been recognized as a signature 60s film, prescient in its view of American self-deception.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Burt Lancaster is superb in his finest performance.

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Brian Orndorf

Beautifully shot and executed, the effort is generous with disturbing, puzzling behavior, yet wise enough to provide clear clues to aid interpretation.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

A largely loony but oddly compulsive allegory.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

A woefully forgotten gem from the 1960s ... a penetrating piece of introspection that was clearly ahead of its time.

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TV Guide

Frequently silly but oddly memorable and unsettling.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

As do few movies, The Swimmer stays in the memory like an echo that never quite disappears.

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Noel Murray
The Dissolve

As effectively as almost any movie ever made about American suburbia, The Swimmer gets the contentment that comes with material success[...] And it gets how the fantasy is hard to sustain.

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Christopher Null

Ned Merrill is a tragic hero for the '60s, and it's one of Lancaster's most searing performances.

More reviews for The Swimmer

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
The Swimmer rules. God bless Connecticut and Fairfield County.
Pierluigi Puccini
A magnetic parable that pulverizes the american dream. Burt Lancaster plays a character engulfed by existential grief, trying to reach his own paradise lost.… More
Kevin M. Williams
A buff Burt Lancaster is nearly naked the whole film as a upscale businessman swimming through the pools of his neighbors in a circuitous route home one… More
Stella Dallas
an offbeat, even absurd suburban drama that sees burt lancaster fighting to preserve his illusions while swimming home through his neighbor's pools. burt… More
Greg S
Observing that all his neighbors have swimming pools, an indefatigably cheerful man out for a morning jog decides to "swim" his way home; at each stop… More
John Ballantine
The Swimmer is an extraordinary bit of a cinema that for some reason does not get a lot of airplay. Lancaster is at his best as a person who has conveniently… More