John Cheever short story is turned into this over-baked, under written Burt Lancaster vanity project. Praised in some circles as being indicative of the rotting of the American dream instead of a portrait of a delusional broken man that sometimes comes off as downright creepy (the babysitter, the young boy). Worse of all the extremely awful score by Marvin Hamlisch that is as subtle as glass breaking.
I liked this...although it had some awful music and some incredibly dated scenes and camerawork. Burt Lancaster is great as Ned, the neighbor everyone loves, who goes on a one day journey of swimming from one neighbor's pool to another and eventually all the way home. At the beginning everything seems perfect but slowly you begin to see the cracks in his facade.
Over-rated. Over-loaded. Ridiculous. It is so obvious that a 53 y/o Burt Lancaster can not and does not fit into the character of Ned Merrill. I regretfully, as a Lancaster fan, have to state this. Awful music. This is also a Frank Perry-Sydney Pollack fiasco. I can't believe it that people like this. Who is nuts?
When we like a film we often say the film had a great story. Here is a film with a smashing screenplay that embellished the original story to make it even better than the original tale. It is an ideal example of the power of good creative screenplaywriting. My reasons are at http://moviessansfrontiers.blogspot.in/2015/11/186-us-directors-frank-perrys-and.html
Sad man fails at self-mythologisation while maintaining inappropriate boundaries with old flames. Drawing out a tone of elegiac nostalgia for an hour-and-a-half strikes me as a little morbid. Interesting to see remnants of the babysitter storyline from Cheever's 'The Country Husband' repurposed for 'The Swimmer'. Lancaster sparkly and weathered and reminded me of Russell Mael for some reason.