The Swimmer (1968) – based on a short story by John Cheever and directed by Frank Perry and Sydney Pollack – is a multi-layered melodrama about class barriers and segregation. Little by little, pool by pool, the life story of the radiant and well-trained protagonist (played by Burt Lancaster) who is swimming through the pools of his presumed friends, is unravelling. The proud, consistently white pool owners he meets along his route never tire of praising their latest filtration systems, which are advertised as filtering out 99.99 percent of all dirt particles.
Frank Perry, The Swimmer, 1968, film still. Copyright: Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group