Wednesday 15 May 2024

mittwoch mantinee (11. 559)

Released on this day in 1968, the surrealist drama adapted from the 1964 eponymous John Cheever short story by the Oscar-nominated writer-director duo of Eleanor and Frank Perry (see previously) features the acting talents of Burt Lancaster in the title role of Ned Merrill, Janice Rule, Joan Rivers and Janet Landgard. Set in an New England suburb, Merrill drops by a neighbour’s pool party and chatting over cocktails realising that the series of backyard pools in this community form a river that would make it possible for him to swim back to his home. Slightly put off by this plan though tolerant of such behaviour, Merrill departs and crashes a succession of pool parties, revisiting past dramas and incidents and gradually revealing his downfall, mental breakdown and social ostracism which Merrill had managed to temporarily put out of his mind.