Like my life, unremittingly bleak with occasional bursts of euphoria where I pretend to be a horse and trot around jumping over obstacles in the garden. Imagine an A list star doing something like this now? The 70's were a golden era of introspection. Marvin Hamlisch should be shot for this soundtrack, instead he's sitting by a pool and I'm stuck here writing a review maybe one person will like. (Cue music).
An end of an era Hollywood movie. It kind of plays on the shallow, banality of relationships portrayed in the Hollywood of the 1950's and gives it a very dark twist portraying a delusional man, who hasn't been able to accept the reality of his life. A genius piece of casting in Burt Lancaster, with his beaming confidence and Hollywood smile creating a delusional mask which slowly becomes more and more apparent.
Enjoyed this a lot. And I'm glad that there wasn't any more exposition than what we gleaned from the people he met. Or, that something wasn't tagged on at the end which tied everything up in a bow. Too many times, films leave nothing to the imagination. Very nice!
This is a great surreal, absurdist and existentialist film. The swimming acts as Ned's journey into the heart of darkness, as we learn more about his past, and his failures as man. It is also a scathing look at the American Dream, white middle-class suburbia, and the supposed values of what is considered a 'good' life.
A married man with a fetish for swimming pools quickly learns that breaking into your neighbours' gardens just to go for a paddle isn't the best way to make friends. The Odyssey framed for suburban melodrama, just with more fake horse gallivanting and failed seductions. The underlying concept, a dark one at that, sadly gets watered down through the hammy acting (Burt Lancaster painfully flops) and a saccharine score.
Ned appears clothed only in trunks & his own self delusions. He plots a journey home swimming through the valley of his neighbours' pools. At each pool he's plunged into a chilling reality of his fall from grace which greets him with increasing ferocity. Cut from the same cloth as Death of a Salesman this is as much a poignant commentary on human nature as it is on the American Dream.
A rare feat: a great adaptation that gets to the heart of a great existential short story. Though there are odd bits in the score or editing which seem a little jarring or overwrought, overall it immerses you into Merrill's self-delusion and lonely endeavour until it's inevitable end. Wonderful.
See Burt Lancaster wearing his swimming trunks as he goes pool to pool throughout the county in this stunning classic of the late 'swining sixties'. Lot of great acting and filmmaking it had alongside the ending being powerful. Swim on, Lancaster!
Simply stunning. The mediocrity of the "good" people, the ultimate loneliness of the man who loves himself, the pain which is ultimately inflicted by the relationships dear to your heart, the unforgiving nature and time. Ah, and Burt is so cool while he runs as a horse in s splendid tan. It was supposed to be the melodramatic company to my Sunday pizza, and it made my weekend instead.