Yes, everything is about swimming in our Club. So here we go with some movies today. We wish to share our love for swimming and swimmers, which is why we have also compiled a list of great, inspiring and entertaining films that heavily showcase swimming and swimmers. So, without further hesitation, let’s take a look at the list in no particular rank or order:
The Swimmer (Frank Perry, 1968)
A classic, perhaps the classic of this obscure genre, focusing on the now dated suburban-exotic fetish of the back-yard pool. Based on a John Cheever short story, this strange and intriguing film stars Burt Lancaster as a guy who, finding himself poolside in the house of a neighbour sets himself the task of swimming back home in all the backyard pools that stand between him and his house. And each pool discloses a secret about himself, his neighbours and his past. A richly sensual film.
Swimfan (John Polson, 2002)
This Hollywood teen thriller has proved to have quite a DVD rental following since its release, and it makes brutally, histrionically explicit all the things which are simmering below the surface in Water Lilies. A young high school guy with a promising swimming career has a one-night stand with a dangerous blonde, played by Erika Christensen, who then stalks him in person and on the net, with the handle “Swimfan”. Lots of weird atmospherics at the after-hours underlit pool at night.
Pride (Sunu Gonera, 2007)
Straight to video in the UK for this inspirational sports movie, which is notable in that it points up the wholesome, non-sexual side of swimming. Terrence Howard plays a determined guy who starts a swim team for the troubled and wayward young people in Philadelphia in the 1970s, a time in which racism was overt. It’s a by-the-numbers film, but interesting and valuable in that it’s a reminder of the days when the segregated swimming pool was the symbol of the ugliest racism.
On a Clear Day (Gaby Dellal, 2005)
This was part of the bittersweet Full Monty/Calendar Girls British genre of movie-making, about ordinary people reclaiming their self-respect through doing something wackily extraordinary. It’s a little icky, to be honest, but it has the outstanding Peter Mullan playing the redundant shipyward worker who conquers his demons by attempting to swim the English Channel – and Mullan is engagingly tough yet vulnerable in the role.
Touch the Wall (2014)
Touch the Wall, a documentary about American swimmers Missy Franklin—who, at just 17, won four gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics—and her teammate, friend, one-time mentor and rival, Kara Lynn Joyce, packs more drama and heart into any given 60 seconds than most movies have in their entire running time. If there is one movie that captures what it takes physically, mentally, and especially, emotionally to be a champion swimmer, this is it.
If you want to see the full list (125 titles), you can take a look here.