Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Swimmer (1968)

It's funny. I sometimes browse IMDB, progressing from one thought to another. Eventually I was reading about Joan Rivers. I discovered that she appeared in a 1968 film, The Swimmer. I was curious.

One thing is new since the last movie I watched for this blog. I subscribed to Netflix. The clincher was they now support the Wii. I'll be damned if I sit in front of my computer and watch a feature length film. It seems that The Swimmer is available for streaming, so I watched it. In front of my computer.

Burt Lancaster is Ned Merrill. He shows up at someones splended country home in a bathing suit and jumps into the pool. The homeowners are very happy to see him and offer him a drink. They talk and it is clear that Neddy is a very popular dude. He's been out of touch with the social scene for a while and it's not clear why. Talk turns, as it frequently does, to swimming pools. He gets the idea that he will swim home. He will jog from house to house and swim their pool until he gets home. Every boys dream.

With every house he visits we learn a little more about his situation and character. Slowly, the reception to the interloper in the pool gets chillier and chillier, and drinks become harder to come by. I will say no more, lest I spoil.

It was the forth of fifth house that I get to see Joan Rivers. I remember the Joan from the 80's back when she was convinced she was bigger than Carson. I also know the Joan from today, the bizzaro alien creature with the dessicated face. What did Joan from the 1960's look like? She was about 33 during filming. I'll have you know she appeared like a regular member of the species. Not a babe by a long shot, but, well, depending on the situation and alcohol consumption, not out of the question.

Who was a babe was Janet Landgard, who played hot baby-sitter Julie Ann Hooper. She was a teen when the movie was filmed and looked great in a two-piece. Her movie career dried up something quick.

When the movie was done, I was thinking totally a 3.0. But as time passes, I actually have considered seeing it again. It's rather haunting how the progression was handled. The odd looks people give Ned when he says some things, the details that come out. All of it builds rather well. AMRU 3.5.

Doing the math, Joan turns 77 next week. I'm guessing Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work was filmed two years ago.

1 comment:

  1. For her documentary, cameras followed her for one year, culminating when she won Celebrity Apprentice.

    I can't wait to see it!