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Man on a Swing [Blu-ray]

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Man on a Swing [Blu-ray] + The Dark Mirror [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Cliff Robertson, Joel Grey, George Voskovec, Dorothy Tristan, Lane Smith
  • Directors: Frank Perry
  • Writers: David Zelag Goodman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Original recording remastered, Widescreen, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 4, 2012
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0089LT828
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,991 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A small-town police chief, Lee Tucker (Cliff Robertson) investigating the murder of a young woman is offered help by a supposed clairvoyant, Franklin Wills (Joel Grey), who gives him details of the crime that he's seen in visions. The details are startlingly correct, but Tucker is not convinced that Wills is indeed clairvoyant and begins to suspect him of the murder. Man on a Swing, based on a true case, is a puzzling crime thriller, directed by Frank Perry (Mommie Dearest). The film includes a great cast of character actors: George Voskovec (12 Angry Men), Lane Smith (My Cousin Vinny) and Josef Sommer (Witness).

Customer Reviews

The dialog in this film is very well written.
R Shaffer
Unlike any other movie from that period, but probably compares to Antonioni's the Red Desert, not because it's about the same thing but it has the same feel.
Lawrence J. Patti
There's a key scene between her and Wills, but otherwise the character shouts "sitting duck" and the plot obliges.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R Shaffer on March 12, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I was so happy when I noticed that Amazon had this hard-to-find Frank Perry film (almost all of his are hard to find) available to stream or download. The first Frank Perry film I watched was The Swimmer, and I have been a fan ever since. I was lucky enough to be living in Los Angeles when the Egyptian Theater featured a retrospect of some of his films including The Swimmer, Doc, Diary of a Mad House Wife, and another favorite of mine, Play it as it Lays. I would highly recommend all of his films including his first, David and Lisa. There's just something about them, that I still can't put my finger on. There's a quirkiness to them, and occasional imperfections, especially in The Swimmer, considered one of the first independent films, but under it all is a unique, but often subtle, auteur vision to his films. Man on as Swing was no exception in terms of those qualities, but it also has the feel of a film in which the director had a very solid command of his craft. It's Perry's only pure detective/police drama type of film I know of, but is, like all of his films, come to think of it, very focused on human psychosis. It's basically an unsolved murder case, supposedly based on true events, and focuses on a police detective played by Cliff Robertson, that is trying to solve the case of a young girl who has been strangled and left in her car in a mall parking lot. There's quite a few very creepy scenes in the film, including the images of this young girl's contorted dead body lying in the front seat floor. Cliff Robertson clocks in a really incredible performance as a cop that becomes haunted and obsessed with solving this case. He's got a quiet, brooding, man's-man type of thing going on.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rosie Campbell on October 30, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Joel Grey is mesmerizing as the psychic, whose mannerisms defy revelation of his intentions. Cliff Robertson, as the investigating police chief, takes the audience on a journey into the emotional, personal toll of police work. The ending is frustrating, paralleling the actual case. I would recommend this film for those who like the cat-and-mouse suspense of Hitchcock films and the detective skills employed prior to DNA and other high-tech tools.
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By tomsview on December 8, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Frank Perry made interesting films. "David and Lisa" and "The Swimmer" are two that I always remembered, along with this one.

"Man on a Swing" is a police procedural about the investigation of the murder of a girl. Made in 1972, we have seen many movies about similar investigations before and since. However, this one still has something different to offer.

Lee Tucker (Cliff Robertson), the sheriff of a small town investigates the murder when the girl's body is found in her car in a supermarket parking lot. A self-proclaimed psychic, Franklin Wills (Joel Grey), comes forward with information only the police, or the killer, could have known, sending the story in a direction that makes this movie standout in a very crowded genre.

Cliff Robertson plays it straight, and it's the right way to go because it's the perfect counterpoint to Joel Grey's fireworks. Grey gives a performance, which is every bit as idiosyncratic as the one he gave in "Cabaret", which was made about the same time. His Franklin Wills comes across as annoying, narcissistic, and more than a little creepy.

The real point of difference in the "Man on a Swing" is that it deals with clairvoyance, a subject that was debated around that time, especially as it related to solving crime. I remember there were a number of baffling, high profile cases around the world in the 60's and 70's where psychics were called in - without much success it must be said. You don't hear nearly as much about crime solving clairvoyants these days ("The Mentalist" doesn't count), could it be that computers and DNA have replaced the Ouija board and the psychic?
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 5, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Inspired by a true case, Frank Perry's Man on a Swing sees Cliff Robertson's police chief in a small town (the kind that still looks like it's stuck in the late 60s in 1974) out of his depth when trying to solve the murder of a young girl. The case is clearly going nowhere as he almost sleepwalks through the investigation as if numbed by shock, though that may just be because the police are too busy getting their fingerprints over the evidence and drinking Budweiser and making sure the logo is facing the camera at every opportunity: police stations, bars, at home - any time is Budweiser time for these cops. For the first couple of reels it's not much above TV movie of the week level, but it jolts into life every time Joel Grey appears as a clairvoyant who offers to help with the case even though he claims to have heard nothing about the murder. But just how reliable is he and what are his real motives?

It's certainly a fascinating performance, and a surprisingly controlled one. Even when he's throwing himself about in spasms or jumping up on tables he manages to make his behavior seem absolutely natural: it's a very physical performance but not a hammily overplayed one, as if the mind and the body are in complete opposition. It's an entirely credible but unknowable performance, disturbing not because he plays the usual horror notes but because of the quiet euphoric satisfaction he exhibits after each trance. All Cliff Robertson can do when he's up against him is to offer a study in contrast by dialling it down to the bare minimum and sit still and watch him intently. His best scene comes in a confrontation with his jealous wife Dorothy Tristan, who hates the fact that it's the murder victim's photo he carries in his wallet instead of hers.
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