The Swimmer

Synopsis: Neddy Merrill has been away for most of the Summer. He reappears at a friend's pool. As they talk, someone notices that there are pools spanning the entire valley. He decided to jog from pool to pool to swim across the whole valley. As he stops in each pool his interactions tell his life story.
Genre: Drama
Production: Columbia Pictures
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min

-Where've you been keeping yourself?

-Here and there. Here and there.

So it's not because our service

is bad, huh?

What a day!

You ever see such a glorious day?

Come on, say hello to Helen.

You old son of a gun. It's wonderful

to see you again. You look great.

Well, so do you.

-Well, a little green around the edges.

-I drank too much last night.

I don't believe it. Neddy!

I don't believe it. Neddy!

How beautiful are thy feet in sandals,

O princess daughter.

I bet you drank too much last night.

-Isn't he a sight f or sore eyes?

-Oh, Neddy, we missed you.

Sit down and tell us everything.

-Where are you coming f rom?

-I was around.

I thought I'd come over and have a

swim with you. Look at that water.

-And look at that sky.

-You look at it.

I think everybody drank too much

last night.

It was that rum,

I drank too much of that.

-Whose party?

-Our own.

-You didn't miss a thing.

-Usual Saturday night blowout.

Same jokes, same f aces, we've known

each other so long there's no flirting.

-I'd have flirted with you.

-You're practically a new f ace.

-How are things? Have a good summer?

-Sure, just great.

Come on, how about a swim?

Good f or your hangover.

What makes you think I'm hung-over?

-Come on, I'll race you.

-Please, no.

-How about you?

-You kidding?

Relax, Neddy. Have a drink. Come on.

-Sit and tell us what you've learned.


Stu Forsburgh!

Stu Forsburgh!

-Ned Merrill! How are you, sport?

-Okay, never better.

-God, I'm glad to see you.

-What are you doing here?

We stopped over.

We've been in the Cape.

-How's Lucinda?

-She's great.

And the girls?

All grown up. And beautiful, Stu.

Just beautiful.

I don't know how you do it!

You haven't changed a bit.

Where did you get this?

Why do you got all these clothes on?

We have to go catch a plane.

-You're gonna catch a plane?

-Gotta get back to the shop.

You know how long it's been since

we had a swim together?

-Please don't remind me.

-What'll you have, Stu?

We're all old bunkmates. We went to

the same camp when we were kids.

Gee, I don't know.

I drank too much last night.

-A diluted martini?

-I'm out of practice...

...with your kind of parties.

We don't do that in Columbus,

unless it's New Year's Eve.

-I told you not to accept the transfer.

-What else could I do?

I'd have quit bef ore I let them

send me to the provinces.

Well, it's healthy.

Stu, did you pack...?

Don't tell me that's Ned Merrill

down there.

-Hi, honeybunch, come join the party.

-Half a minute.

Stu, I didn't realize how much

I missed that ugly old mug of yours.

Get out of those clothes

and we'll have one quick swim.

-I'm not up to it. I'm feeling my age.

-You're a year younger than I am.

Yeah, you were always

pulling seniority on me at camp.

Remember how we'd take off

our suits and swim f or miles?

-We just never got tired.


We had nice,

new, pink lungs in those days.

And the water up there, remember?

That transparent light-green water.

It felt different. A beautiful feeling.

We could've swum around the world.

That was bef ore we ever touched

a drink or a cigarette.

-Or a girl!

-Or a girl.

That doesn't sap a man's strength.

-Or I'd be in a wheelchair today.

-Ned Merrill!


-Ned Merrill, still bragging.

I've heard those old schoolboy stories.

You all made them up.

So you figured that one out,

have you? Let me look at you.

Let's settle this nonsense

about taking a plane.

-Settle it with him. I like it here.

-Lucinda'll be disappointed as hell.

I don't think that's exactly true.

I could run you to our house.

To say hello.

-Don, how about using your car?

-Well, sure, but...

They haven't time. We promised to

stop at the Grahams' f or a quick drink.

-Will you come?

-Of course he will.

-You haven't seen their pool, have you?


-The Grahams.

-The Grahams put in a pool?

Oh, yeah. They nurse it like a baby.

-When did they put in a pool?



-Did you get the suits off the line?

I f orgot about them.

If they're damp, I have

some plastic bags.

Do the Biswangers have a pool?


-Those awful people on Red Coat Road.

Always talking about their Caribbean

cruises and electric toothbrushes.

Sure, they have a big pool.

-Go on, honey, finish packing.

-I will, in a minute.

-Listen, if we miss that plane...

-Don't worry, I'll get you to the airport.

My God, I f orgot all about them.

Go on, honey, finish packing.

-lf we miss that plane...

-I will, in a minute.

I could do it. I could really do it!

Do what, Neddy?

Now with the Grahams'...

...there's a string of pools that curves

clear across the county to our house.

Well, look, the Grahams', the Lears',

the Bunkers'. Then over the ridge.

A portage through the riding ring,

to the Hallorans' and the Gilmartins'.

Then down the lane

to the Biswangers' and then...

Wait, who's next? I can't think.

I had it a minute ago. Who is it?

Who is it?

Who's next to the Biswangers'?

-Shirley Abbott.

-Shirley Abbott.

Across Route 424 to the recreation

centre pool, up the hill and I'm home.

Don't you see? I just figured it out.

If I take a dogleg to the southwest...

...I can swim home.

Come on, Ned.

-Why would you want to swim home?

-I don't get it.

Pool by pool, they f orm a river

all the way to our house.

I suppose you could put it that way.

Now, Neddy, why don't you sit down...

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Eleanor Perry

Eleanor Perry (née Rosenfeld; nom-de-plume Oliver Weld Bayer, October 13, 1914 – March 14, 1981) was an American screenwriter and author.Film critic Charles Champlin fondly remembered Perry as the feminist who "discovered a ladder and a can of spray paint" to protest, deface and demonstrate her distaste for Federico Fellini's sexist "she-wolf" Roma posters at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. The outspoken Eleanor Perry was an advocate for women's rights and screenwriters' recognition, often criticizing the film industry. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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