1968 / USA / 95 min. / Colour
Director: Frank Perry with Sydney Pollack
Burt Lancaster, Janet Landgard, Janice Rule, Joan Rivers
For a Hollywood A-Lister, Burt Lancaster made a surprising number of highly distinctive, brilliant and often daring, films that are a long way away from his traditional, and equally mesmerising, studio fare. These left-field triumphs include The Leopard, Atlantic City, Soylent Green and, of course, tonight’s film. Lancaster plays Ned Merrill who we meet at a pool party hosted by his old friends, the Westerhazys. As they reminisce, it dawns on Ned that he could reach his home going from swimming pool to swimming pool. He dives in and begins his strange journey… as he moves from adjacent garden to adjacent garden, chatting with the owners at each location, bit- by-disconcerting-bit we learn more about his recent past. Roger Ebert called the film: “a strange, stylized work, a brilliant and disturbing one.” And then there is the fabulous saturated colour and Marvin Hamlisch’s spot-on score – remarkably, his first for a film.
Definitely one of this Season’s most striking, original and watchable films.