The Swimmer, screened at Whitstable Biennale 2018. Photo: Rosie Lonsdale

Frank Perry
The Swimmer

2018

1968 (certificate PG)

“The Swimmer is the story of a man who begins at the dawn of a new day to swim in the backyard pool of some friends. It occurs to him that a string of other backyard pools reaches all the way across the valley to his own home. Why not swim every one – swim all the way home, as it were? The Swimmer begins as a perfectly realistic film. But somewhere along the way we realise it is an allegory. It would also appear that the swimmer’s experiences are not meant to represent a single day, but a man’s life. Burt Lancaster is superb in his finest performance. A strange, stylized work, a brilliant and disturbing one.”
(Roger Ebert)

The Swimmer (based on the John Cheever short story) was a major inspiration for Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home, the book from which we take our 2018 festival title.

The film is 1 hour 35 minutes long.

Frank Perry