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  • Swimmer, The

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 14th, 2003

    (out of 5)



    Burt Lancaster, a member of the New England aristocracy, wanders out of the forest andleaps into some friends’ swimming pool. After much overly hearty banter, he realizes that thereis an unbroken link of swimming pools between here and his home. He sets off, and at each pool,there is a revelatory encounter of some sort. We gradually find out more and more about him, andit soon becomes clear that all is not sweetness and light in his world. The film is extremelystylized, and…very much a product of 1968. The dialogue is very artificial, the allegorical natureof the project is rather heavy-handed, ,and the ending is telegraphed from miles away. That said,the movie grows on you, largely because of its extreme weirdness and developing nightmare.Then, having grown on you, the film stays with you. Just thinking about it makes me want to seeit again.


    The sound is mono, with no attempt at a remix, and given the uneven results remixes oftenproduce, this is probably for the best. The mono is certainly clean and perfectly serviceable, andthe music sounding so good that for a moment I thought it WAS in stereo. The dialogue is veryclean, with no buzz, though the tone does fluctuate a little bit, with some voices developing aslightly thick sound.


    The format is the original 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The print is in good, but notperfect, shape. Speckles, initially absent, start to show up later in the film. there is some prettysevere damage (primarily red blotches) that shows up very briefly about 44 minutes in. Now andthen the picture judders up and down, and the final interior shot has noticeable damage and grain.On the other hand, the colours are very nice (though the blacks and contrasts are weak in a coupleof shots), and the flesh tones are excellent (which is important, given the number of extremeclose-ups in the film).

    Special Features

    Nothing except for trailers for three Lancaster films: The Swimmer, From Here to Eternity,and The Professionals. The menu is silent and still.


    Closing Thoughts

    Though definitely not for all tastes, this is something really different, and well worth yourtime. Though, like me, you might not enjoy it for precisely the right reasons, the enjoyment (andquite a lot of it) is still there to be had.

    Special Features List

    • Theatrical Trailers
    Posted In: 1.85:1 Widescreen, Disc Reviews, Drama, DVD, English Mono, Sony Pictures

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