Burt Lancaster stars in this bizarre film from Frank Perry. Lancaster is Ned Merrill, who appears one day out of the woods and in a friends swimming pool.
He meets and greets all of the people he knows and they have a warm friendship. Merrill tells them of his plan to swim all of the pools in the neighborhood until he reaches his home on the other side. This strikes people as bizarre, but then again Merrill always had strange ideas, at least that is the prospective we pick up listening to conversations.
As he slowly makes his way home the relationships he has with people start to deteriorate into fights and arguments and self doubt. Ned even finds himself getting cold from all the swimming. Even the quality of the pools begins to go down as we are treated from everything starting with a luxury pool at the beginning to a very crowded public pool towards the end.
There are a lot of allegorical symbolism in this film and you really have to pay attention to see it, at least for a while. The ending is shockingly sad and unnerving. As you watch the film unfold you get the idea that something is wrong, but you don't know how wrong it really is.
Sadly the film did nothing at the boxoffice back in 1968, and I believe that is because the film was and still is misunderstood by many film fans. It is ONE OF A KIND.
There are several interpretations to the ending one could use, an I will let everyone decide for themselves. Director Perry made some very unique films, and for some reason most of the are not available, which simply blows my mind.
This and "Ladybug, Ladybug" are my two favorite Perry movies I have seen. If you get a chance, check out this stunning Blu-ray presentation and entertain yourself with one of the most bizarre films ever made. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!