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The Swimmer (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (1968)

Burt Lancaster , Janet Landgard , Frank Perry  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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The Swimmer (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) + Double Indemnity - 70th Anniversary Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Janet Landgard, Janice Rule, Joan Rivers
  • Directors: Frank Perry
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 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 (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,164 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not in the least "dated"... Unfortunately April 25, 2014
Verified Purchase
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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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not What It Is But What It Appears To Be 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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One hell of a movie March 29, 2014
By M. Gibb
Verified Purchase
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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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars subject matter not what I thought it was.
it was an ok movie, but I thought it was going to be a biography of ted kennedy? so a little disappointed.
Published 24 days ago by Michael Skinner
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performance by Burt Lancaster (and what great physical condition...
I can't speak to the Blu-Ray portion because I don't have a blu-ray player. I wanted this in my DVD collection because it is an extraordinary film. Read more
Published 1 month ago by diane young
5.0 out of 5 stars the swimmer with Burt Lancaster
great movie i remember watching this movie in 1968 when i was in high school been looking for it ever since
Published 1 month ago by Isaac Irvin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, nice Blu-ray
Great film,nice Blu-ray.
Published 2 months ago by Ludwig
5.0 out of 5 stars The picture and sound are excellent. Grindhouse done good
If you are a fan of this movie don't hesitate for another second - buy this package!! Hours of commentary, totally satisfying. The picture and sound are excellent. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Save Our Nation
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
it's a strange movie, awkward, yet graced with autumnal beauty, sorrow and elemental mystery.
Published 2 months ago by Douglas K. Shaeffer
4.0 out of 5 stars It is actually a pretty good movie
I remember seeing this movie when I was in high school on a Saturday night late show. It seemed kind of strange at the time. Now the movie makes a lot more sense. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr Tropics
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best "unknown" performances by Burt Lancaster
One of the best "unknown" performances by Burt Lancaster; very interesting in the way the narrative is set-up, slowly revealing...well, you'll have to see it!
Published 3 months ago by Berigan Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see movie
A real sleeper. One of my favorite movies. Burt Lancaster is brilliant. The cinematography is superb.
Published 3 months ago by Robert Huber
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic release!
The movie is highly recommended anyway, but the fact
that it got such a wonderful release by Grindhouse is reason to celebrate. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Michael Siegel
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