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The Swimmer (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

58 customer reviews

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(Mar 25, 2014)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

International Press Academy - Satellite Awards - Honoring Achievement in Film, Television and New Media


Grindhouse Releasing is proud to present the ultimate late-60s studio-produced cult film, THE SWIMMER. In his finest performance, Burt Lancaster stars as Ned Merrill, a man who confronts his destiny by swimming home, pool by pool, through the suburban nightmare of upper-class East Coast society. Based on the acclaimed short story by John Cheever, and directed by Frank Perry (DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE, MOMMIE DEAREST), THE SWIMMER is a film like no other, a feature-length TWILIGHT ZONE episode by way of THE NEW YORKER.

Special Features:

  • 2 DISC SET - Deluxe dual layer Blu-ray Edition + DVD combo
  • Spectacular new digital restoration created from 4K scans for optimal picture quality
  • The Story of THE SWIMMER - brand new, five-part, 2-1/2 hour documentary by Oscar-winner Chris Innis featuring in-depth interviews with stars Janet Landgard, Joan Rivers and Marge Champion, composer Marvin Hamlisch, film editor Sidney Katz, assistant directors Michael Hertzberg and Ted Zachary, UCLA Olympic swim coach Bob Horn, and Joanna Lancaster
  • The original NEW YORKER short story read by author John Cheever
  • 12 page booklet with liner notes by legendary director Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR)
  • Rare production stills from the lost alternate scenes
  • Extensive still galleries, trailers and TV spots


Burt Lancaster is superb in his finest performance. Four stars - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Totally engrossing, thanks to its very strangeness, and to the superb performances and vivd location photography. Five stars - Geoff Andrew, Time Out New York

Grim, disturbing and sometimes funny...the film has the shape of an open-ended hallucination - Vincent Canby, The New York Times

A strange, stylized work, a brilliant and disturbing one - Roger Ebert

Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Janet Landgard, Janice Rule, Joan Rivers
  • Directors: Frank Perry
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Grindhouse Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2014
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,003 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By R. Prokop on April 25, 2014
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I never saw this film when it first came out in 1968, but I vividly recall seeing a trailer for it in the coming attractions prior to seeing another (now long forgotten) movie. It's strange that a mere trailer would stick with someone for more than 40 years, but the phrase "I'm swimming home" has haunted me all this time. I am so glad that I finally got a chance to see the movie itself.

I wonder if I would have appreciated it at age 16, when I saw that trailer. Probably not. I think one has to experience a lot of what Ned Merrill has before this film would really hit home - and hit home it does! I'm not going to give away any of the plot, so no need for spoiler alerts here. Suffice to say that you are painfully aware at the start that all is not as it seems, and as the story progresses the veil (of forgetfulness? of denial? of self rationalization?) is slowly and inexorably lifted, until the soul-shattering climax (which by then you've been fearfully anticipating) at the movie's end.

I truly wish I could say this movie was "dated", because that would mean its terrible, nihilistic vision of the hollowness of suburban life was also no longer relevant - sadly, it remains as current as last minute's Facebook posting or Instagram.

Burt Lancaster is at the top of his form here - flawless performance. Janet Landgard and Janice Rule are also superb.
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I'm going to just dive into this and say YES, I'm on the bandwagon.... a terrific movie gets an absolute STELLAR release! WOW , WOW , WOW, in the days when major studios are releasing films on DVD R no less, this company issues this brilliant Burt Lancaster GEM on both DVD and BLU RAY with 4k restored picture. The riches continue...with a nice booklet and excellent essay and a bevy of terrific bonus features.... did I say WOW WOW WOW? I was a bit put off by the price but ordered anyway and now I'm checking this company out for other releases and upcoming products!

I think it is important to support the few companies that are still interested in putting out films and giving us something extra!

It is terrific presentations like this , with interesting and informative extras that make something worth owning and collecting.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Khoury on February 15, 2014
I forget when I first watched this movie. I wish it had been almost at the moment of my birth. This is a simple story about a man, played impeccably by Burt Lancaster, who decides to swim home across his neighbors' swimming pools for no particular reason that we are aware of. On the way he revisits his own flawed and failed past. Failed career. Failed relationships. Failed marriage. No, it's not his past. It's the present. No, wait, it's his future. Burt is as baffled by them as I am. Why is everyone so cruel and uncaring toward me? Why could I have done to make them so harsh and unforgiving? He can't remember. He doesn't understand. But it doesn't matter. Nothing matters but swimming home. Is he living in a timeless present where the past and the future do not exist? This is a film you will not be able to forget. It will make you reflect on your life like no other film I have ever known. It is a film that I am afraid to watch and that I never want to end. And the ending. Oh, the ending. It will crush you like a beer can.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Andre Dursin on March 19, 2014
I was forced to read John Cheever’s short story THE SWIMMER not once or twice, but several times between 7th grade and high school graduation. While that may be somewhat of a damning indictment of growing up in the ‘80s and early ‘90s (between that and the handful of Toni Morrison novels I was forced to endure, you can understand why kids today have no familiarity with classic literature), Cheever’s story was an interesting read, and one that made for an equally fascinating 1968 film starring Burt Lancaster. The movie – a commercial failure that eventually gained a cult following – is now available on Blu-Ray from Grindhouse Releasing in a sensational package that’s an early candidate for the year’s best.

swimmer“The Swimmer” probes the fragmented psyche of a wealthy townie who swims from one pool to the next in a wealthy Connecticut suburb, gradually reliving his failed personal and professional life along the way. Lancaster stars as Ned Merrill, and gives a tremendous performance as a guy experiencing his past and re-experiencing his downfall, which is partially revealed in a series of mostly ambiguous run-ins with various neighbors. From his family’s nubile babysitter (Janet Landgard) to his former mistress (Janice Rule), it’s clear something has happened to Ned’s job and (possibly) family, and yet director Frank Perry and screenwriter Eleanor Perry (the director’s then-wife) do a remarkable job retaining enough of the mystery from Cheever’s story so it’s never completely explained. Lancaster, meanwhile, is superb in a demanding role that ranges from a sexist, cheating, demeaning louse to a sympathetic loser who’s fallen from grace (look also for Joan Rivers as a party guest Burt hits on late in the film!).
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. Gibb on March 29, 2014
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Great off-kilter film, feels like you are in the twilight zone. The blu ray quality is stunning, deep rich visuals and strong audio. The extras have gone above and beyond also.
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The Swimmer (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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