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International Press Academy - Satellite Awards - Honoring Achievement in Film, Television and New Media
WINNER - BEST OVERALL BLU-RAY/DVD FOR 2014!
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.
- 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
- AND OTHER SURPRISES!
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
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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.
The look of the film, on blu ray and dvd is astonishing. I had only seen it on what can only be called 'blurry' video by comparison. Here, the colors are vibrant and alive. And it should be noted, the extras are on both the blu ray and dvd. There is also an option to listen to the score only.
Included in the extras is a documentary over 2 hours long that covers virtually every detail of the production. Very interesting. The only shame is that we do not get to hear, even in archived footage, from Burt Lancaster himself.
The artwork on the case is one of the best I've seen and includes a booklet. They really did a wonderful job with this release.
With all the extras, it is still the film itself that is the best reason to buy this. It is an underrated film that is unlike any film I've seen. My guess is that the audiences, and critics, were not ready for this film in 1968. Although to his credit, Roger Ebert gave is a glowing review, may he rest in peace.
How powerful a film is this? Even when I know what is going to happen, I will watch this film and as the ending approaches, I half hope that it won't end the way it does. And, even though he is a fictional character, I wonder what became of Ned Merrill.
This is the kind of film, and performance by Lancaster, that transcends such awards as the Oscars. It is a one of a kind masterpiece and unforgettable.