The Swimmer (1968) - full transcript

Neddy Merrill has been away for most of the Summer. He reappears at a friend's pool. As they talk, someone notices that there are pools spanning the entire valley. He decided to jog from pool to pool to swim across the whole valley. As he stops in each pool his interactions tell his life story.

- Where've you been keeping yourself?
- Here and there. Here and there.

So it's not because our service
is bad, huh?

What a day!

You ever see such a glorious day?

Come on, say hello to Helen.

You old son of a gun. lt's wonderful
to see you again. You look great.

Well, so do you.

- Well, a little green around the edges.
- l drank too much last night.

l don't believe it. Neddy!

l don't believe it. Neddy!

How beautiful are thy feet in sandals,
O princess daughter.

l bet you drank too much last night.

- lsn't he a sight for sore eyes?
- Oh, Neddy, we missed you.

Sit down and tell us everything.

- Where are you coming from?
- l was around.

l thought l'd come over and have a
swim with you. Look at that water.

- And look at that sky.
- You look at it.

l think everybody drank too much
last night.

lt was that rum,
l drank too much of that.

- Whose party?
- Our own.

- You didn't miss a thing.
- Usual Saturday night blowout.

Same jokes, same faces, we've known
each other so long there's no flirting.

- l'd have flirted with you.
- You're practically a new face.

- How are things? Have a good summer?
- Sure, just great.

Come on, how about a swim?

Good for your hangover.

What makes you think l'm hung-over?

- Come on, l'll race you.
- Please, no.

- How about you?
- You kidding?

Relax, Neddy. Have a drink. Come on.

- Sit and tell us what you've learned.
- Ned!

Stu Forsburgh!

Stu Forsburgh!

- Ned Merrill! How are you, sport?
- Okay, never better.

- God, l'm glad to see you.
- What are you doing here?

We stopped over.
We've been in the Cape.

- How's Lucinda?
- She's great.

And the girls?

All grown up. And beautiful, Stu.
Just beautiful.

l don't know how you do it!
You haven't changed a bit.

Where did you get this?
Why do you got all these clothes on?

We have to go catch a plane.

- You're gonna catch a plane?
- Gotta get back to the shop.

You know how long it's been since
we had a swim together?

- Please don't remind me.
- What'll you have, Stu?

We're all old bunkmates. We went to
the same camp when we were kids.

Gee, l don't know.
l drank too much last night.

- A diluted martini?
- l'm out of practice...

...with your kind of parties.

We don't do that in Columbus,
unless it's New Year's Eve.

- l told you not to accept the transfer.
- What else could l do?

l'd have quit before l let them
send me to the provinces.

Well, it's healthy.

Stu, did you pack...?

Don't tell me that's Ned Merrill
down there.

- Hi, honeybunch, come join the party.
- Half a minute.

Stu, l didn't realize how much
l missed that ugly old mug of yours.

Get out of those clothes
and we'll have one quick swim.

- l'm not up to it. l'm feeling my age.
- You're a year younger than l am.

Yeah, you were always
pulling seniority on me at camp.

Remember how we'd take off
our suits and swim for miles?

- We just never got tired.
- Yeah.

We had nice,
new, pink lungs in those days.

And the water up there, remember?
That transparent light-green water.

lt felt different. A beautiful feeling.
We could've swum around the world.

That was before we ever touched
a drink or a cigarette.

- Or a girl!
- Or a girl.

That doesn't sap a man's strength.

- Or l'd be in a wheelchair today.
- Ned Merrill!

- Peggy.
- Ned Merrill, still bragging.

l've heard those old schoolboy stories.
You all made them up.

So you figured that one out,
have you? Let me look at you.

Let's settle this nonsense
about taking a plane.

- Settle it with him. l like it here.
- Lucinda'll be disappointed as hell.

l don't think that's exactly true.

l could run you to our house.
To say hello.

- Don, how about using your car?
- Well, sure, but...

They haven't time. We promised to
stop at the Grahams' for a quick drink.

- Will you come?
- Of course he will.

- You haven't seen their pool, have you?
- Whose?

- The Grahams.
- The Grahams put in a pool?

Oh, yeah. They nurse it like a baby.

- When did they put in a pool?
- June.

- June?
- Did you get the suits off the line?

l forgot about them.

lf they're damp, l have
some plastic bags.

Do the Biswangers have a pool?

- Biswangers?
- Those awful people on Red Coat Road.

Always talking about their Caribbean
cruises and electric toothbrushes.

Sure, they have a big pool.

- Go on, honey, finish packing.
- l will, in a minute.

- Listen, if we miss that plane...
- Don't worry, l'll get you to the airport.

My God, l forgot all about them.

Go on, honey, finish packing.

- lf we miss that plane...
- l will, in a minute.

l could do it. l could really do it!

l could do it. l could really do it!

Do what, Neddy?

Now with the Grahams'...

...there's a string of pools that curves
clear across the county to our house.

Well, look, the Grahams', the Lears',
the Bunkers'. Then over the ridge.

A portage through the riding ring,
to the Hallorans' and the Gilmartins'.

Then down the lane
to the Biswangers' and then...

Wait, who's next? l can't think.
l had it a minute ago. Who is it?

Who is it?
Who's next to the Biswangers'?

- Shirley Abbott.
- Shirley Abbott.

Across Route 424 to the recreation
center pool, up the hill and l'm home.

Don't you see? l just figured it out.
lf l take a dogleg to the southwest...

...l can swim home.

Come on, Ned.

- Why would you want to swim home?
- l don't get it.

Pool by pool, they form a river
all the way to our house.

l suppose you could put it that way.
Now, Neddy, why don't you sit down...

...and have a drink
and then we'll all go to the Grahams'?

l'll call it the Lucinda River,
after my wife.

That's quite a tribute.

This is the day Ned Merrill
swims across the county.

Always threw himself in the water
like that. God, what energy!

He keeps himself in shape.

Come on. He always ate like a horse,
never put on an ounce.

- Look at that. Wouldn't use the ladder.
- Hey, Ned! Where are you going?

Where'd he get that nutty idea?

- He's just joking.
- You sure?

Sure. We'll find him waiting for us
at the Grahams'.

God, l hate Columbus.

Swim to his house.
Why would he wanna do that?

Neddy, Neddy! lt's been so long.

- You look wonderful.
- So do you.

l'm going on a diet
a week from Thursday.

- Where were you?
- Don and Helen's.

Where are they all?
They're all coming over, aren't they?

- Why didn't they come with you?
- They're driving down.

- What do you think?
- Terrific. Absolutely terrific.

lt cost a bundle,
but Howie's had a marvelous year.

- Look how clear the water is.
- Wow!

We got the best filter money can buy.

lt filters 99.99.99 percent
of all solid matter out of the water.

- Really?
- We put a 6-inch lint filter in too.

The way we take care of this pool,
the water's purer than drinking water.

- What'll you have?
- Scoop me a glass of that.

- Don't be silly. Want a martini?
- No, nothing, thanks.

- l'll swim and be on my way.
- You will not. You just got here.

l can't stay.
l want to try out your pool.

- That's unfriendly. What's the rush?
- Okay, but make it a little one.

Next summer
we're gonna build a pool house.

With dressing rooms and showers
and a little playroom and a big bar.

Make a swell layout. Cheers.

You never thought he'd make it,
did you?


When we were kids and
l first started dating Howard... weren't very nice to him.
- l wasn't, why?

Remember he kept track of every penny
he saved and spent in a notebook.

You thought that was very amusing.

l was jealous.

Of Howard?

l was crazy about you.

Well, you never said anything.

- You were having an affair with Lucinda.
- Why'd l get smashed at your wedding?

Because Lucinda was dancing
with Roger Bunker.

What a long memory you got,

No kidding though.
You've got a gorgeous pool.

l've got everything l ever wanted.

Funny how things turn out,
isn't it?

- Hey, Ned!
- Howard.

- How are you, Ned?
- Fine, fine.

Of all people.

- How do you like my new toy?
- Next year we're getting all the optionals.

Like a padded seat, a canopy.

She's idling a bit slow.


lt's not supposed to be
a racing engine.

- What's he doing?
- He's fixing it.

- lt's okay now.
- l'll get you a drink.

- lt's a great pool.
- Yeah.

Ned's just crazy about our pool.

l didn't skimp on it.

- l got a diatomaceous earth filter.
- Betty told me.

Filters out 99.99.99 percent...

...of all solid matter.
- That's what Betty said.

She tell you about
the swing joints l got in there?

Spingon's pool split down the middle
three months after the guarantee.

- No swing joints.
- Ned doesn't know the Spingons.

Let me tell you about them.

- They're the kind of people who skimp.
- Just look at the color of that sky.

l don't like the look of that cloud.

lt's beautiful.

Like a dream city from the bow
of a ship. Lisbon, Naples, lstanbul.


l'd like to see all those glistening
white domes and minarets.

First chance l get to get away,
l'll go sailing around the Golden Horn.

Why can't we travel more?

What for? We've got everything
we want right here.

- How come you never put a pool in?
- Never got around to it.

That's too bad.
Helps the resale value.

l don't have to worry about
the resale value.

With a tennis court and the planting,
you'll get a lot more than you paid.

lf l ever sell it.

- Right buyer has to come along.
- l want my girls to be married there.

Won't be long now. Our driveway
looked like a parking lot today.

Boys all over the place.

Hey, anybody home?

That must be Don and Helen with
the Forsburghs. Neddy, don't go away.

- Hi, Betty.
- So long, Ned.

ls Ned here?

- Mrs. Hammar, how are you?
- May l ask what you're doing here?

On my way home,
l thought l'd cool off.

Who gave you permission
to use the pool?

l'm Ned Merrill. Beautiful flowers.

l see Eric's put in the rock garden.

- You're not welcome here.
- You know me, don't you?

- l'm a friend of your son.
- A friend.

How dare you use that word!
You never came to see him.

You never even called him
at the hospital.

Well, how is he? ls he better?

Just one minute, Mr. Merrill.

This is my house now.

Don't you ever come here again.

Don't you ever set foot
on my property again!

Hi, Mr. Merrill.

- Hi, Muffie.
- Mommy and Daddy are at the club.

- Think they'd mind if l swim?
- Of course not, help yourself.

- lt isn't Julie Ann Hooper?
- Yes, it is.

l can't believe it.
You're all grown up.

- How come we never see you?
- l guess you don't need me anymore.

We're always looking for a babysitter.

Oh, Mr. Merrill!

- How about Sunday night? You busy?
- No.

Hired. You live in the same place?

- Yes, but...
- l'll pick you up at 7.

- You're putting me on.
- No, l'm not.

A babysitter! Ellen and Aggie
would have a fit if they heard you.

Mr. Merrill,
this is my brother, Vernon.

Your brother? But your brother was...

l sure liked that little red Jaguar
you used to have.

- Want a Coke?
- Sure.

Thanks. l can't get over you, Julie.
How old are you now?

- Twenty last month.
- You still going to school?

- l've got a job.
- l miss Ellen and Aggie.

- Where are they?
- They're home.

- Playing tennis.
- They are? But when did they...?

Why didn't they call me?

l'd just love to see them.
Let's drive over.

Well, l've got to be on my way.

- l'm swimming home.
- You're swimming home?

There's a river of pools
all the way to my house.

- That's more hiking than swimming.
- Not hiking. Portaging.

- lt's okay, if you like exercise.
- What a crazy idea.

- l think it's brilliant.
- From here l go to the Bunkers'.

l'll portage through the riding ring
to the Hallorans'.

- Got it all mapped out.
- What are you doing it for?

- Why do you want to?
- l think it's original.

As if he's...
an explorer or something.

l mean, l think it's an adventure.

Come with me.

- Well, gee, l...
- Come on, live a little.

l don't know if...

We'll explore the torrential
headwaters of the Lucinda River.

All right, l will.

Ready! Go!

- lt's funny.
- What?

- Marigolds. This time of the year.
- They're all over.

- Well, they usually bloom later.
- They're lovely. l love the colors.

Mr. Merrill?

What did you mean before?
All that about my coming to babysit.

Coming over to babysit?
l was just joking. l was teasing you.

Gee, l wondered.

You used to be such a shy little kid.

You always brought schoolbooks.
You always dropped pencils and things.

And you never had a word to say.

- l thought plenty, though.
- About what?

- Oh, daydreamed.
- What about?

- Lots of things.
- What sort of things?

- lt's so silly, it was such kid stuff.
- Come on, tell me.

l bet you never knew
l had a big crush on you.

You did?

- l was mad about you, out of my head!
- You were?

lf Mrs. Merrill called me to babysit,
even at the last minute...

...l'd cancel out whoever l promised
and come to your house instead.

You must have lost
a lot of customers.

l'd spend an hour getting myself fixed
up. My mother thought l was nuts.

l mean, l was just a kid to you,
but you were a god to me.

- Now you're putting me on.
- Know what l'd do as the girls slept?

l'd go up to your room and open
your closet and touch your suits.

Then l'd go into your bathroom and
smell your shaving lotion. One time...

- This is a terrible thing to admit.
- Tell me.

l stole one of your shirts.

Then when l was doing my homework
up in my room, l'd put it on.

lt made me feel as if
you were all around me.

Julie, l didn't know.

And when you'd drive me home
at night, l'd pretend like mad.

Pretend what?
What was it you used to pretend?

l... After all,
l was just a child in those days.

l want to know.

That you were desperately
in love with me.

You were too honorable to say so,
because you were married.

So l had to go to Paris.
You know, put an ocean between us.

And no matter how many divine
Frenchmen begged me, l'd never marry.

l'd just live there, all pale
and mysterious, huge tragic artist.

And then one night,
l'd be in some club.

A fabulous Paris gown.
l'd see you at the door.

Tall, distinguished,
a little grey at the temples.

l pretended your eyes would burn
into me across this room.

Suddenly, there'd be a hush.
And everyone would look at me.

And then l'd just stand up
and float towards you.

- And then what?
- That's all.

- Julie, l don't know what to say.
- l told you. l was a real spooky kid.

The Bunkers must be having a party.

How bonny are the banks
of the Lucinda River.

l knew we'd find friends
all along the way.


Enid. This is Julie Ann Hooper,
our babysitter.

l lost her for a while.
But l found her again.

How fortunate for you, darling.

What a lovely dress.
You look ravishing.

Ned, what a treat to have you here.

l see Roger's the life of the party
as usual.

He started all by himself at brunch.
l guess it caught up with him.

Neddy, tell me everything.
l want to know all about you.


Look who's there!
Get yourself a drink.

We'll have one quick one
to appease the natives.

- Neddy!
- Hi, honeybunch.

- To think l nearly didn't get here.
- Ned, you old fossil. How are you?

Great. Just great.

- Ned! My God, it's been a dog's age.
- Rusty.

- Let's have a game of golf. Soon.
- Darling!

- ls it undiplomatic to ask of Lucinda?
- She's great. And bring your money.

- Neddy! Neddy, darling.
- l'm John.

We want to see you.
Lucinda will call. How you doing?

Great, great.

- My God, Neddy Merrill.
- Freddy Preston.

Marvelous to see you. We missed
you. l expected you'd be on Xanadu.

- l'll have to call Willie.
- Good show.

- Mr. Merrill.
- Hi, Stanley. How's lnez?

- She'll be glad to see you.
- She's my girl.

- Yes, sir. What may l get you?
- Dom Perignon. That's for us.

Yes, sir.

- Ever drink champagne?
- Once at a birthday party.

A boy drank it out of my slipper.

Here's to sugar on our strawberries.

- Ned, my God.
- Brian. How are you, Brian?

l feel rotten l didn't call.

l've been so damn busy.
l don't know where the time goes.

- Let's have lunch this week.
- Okay.

l wanted to tell you.
That was a stinking thing to do.

- What they pulled at your place.
- What's that?

Well, now l don't care how big
a firecracker this new guy was.

Well, brother,
that story really jolted me.

l thought, what if a young smart-ass
comes to our shop and does that?

Let's hear from you, huh?
Ring me at the office.

Beautiful Cynthia.

- Neddy. Darling!
- Hi, where's Carter?

Well, haven't you heard?
We've separated.

This is Julie Ann Hooper,
our babysitter.

- Run along to your babies, dear.
- She's with me.

- We're swimming across the county.
- How healthy and young of you.

Now, who else could wear
a dress like this?

Why don't you come over
tonight for dinner?

l'd love to.

lf Lucinda hasn't made a date.

Lucinda! Well, congratulations.

- Ned.
- Denny boy!

Why not leave some phone numbers?
l've tried to reach you.

l've heard of an opening.

Perfect for you. Your experience.

Small place,
but these two guys are creative.

- Say hello to Julie Ann.
- Hello.

They have a reputation for originality.
Approach them right, take a cut.

Take a cut?

Now, look here, Ned.
You don't have to pretend with me.

Set! Go!

Did you hurt yourself?

lt's nothing. Bad takeoff.

Let's go and sit down somewhere.

- Does it hurt?
- No, it's all right.

What sort of a job do you have?

Secretary. We're the largest office
supply company in New York.

- l've never run into you on the train.
- l take the 7:22.

- l'm first in, so l make the coffee.
- A friendly office?

Two girls want to get an apartment
after our raises.

- Watch out, it's a big wicked city.
- l know. l've had some experiences.

- Like what?
- Well... morning l was making coffee
and looked out the window.

There's an apartment building
across the court.

This man was standing in his window,
looking at me. He was stark naked.

- That's terrible.
- l just stood there looking at him.

You ought to report that
to somebody.

He's never been there again.
l check every morning.

There's a lot of nuts around.

Another time, my boss sent me
to deliver some record books.

l got into an elevator and pressed 26.
Then a man got in and he pressed 27.

The door closed and
the elevator started up.

This man came right over
and kissed me on the mouth.

- What'd you do?
- l dropped the books.

Then what happened?

He picked them up,
gave them to me.

The door opened
on the 26th floor, and l got out.

Can you imagine?
A building on Park Avenue?

That belly is like a heap of wheat.

Fenced about with lilies.

That's from the Bible, isn't it?

Song of Solomon.

As a little girl in Sunday school,
they never mentioned that part.

You still are a little girl
in Sunday school.

You know, Julie,
l've been thinking.

l could...

l could meet you in the morning
and take you to your office.

lf you had to go out on an errand,
call me and l'd go with you.

l'd pick you up every day
at noon and we'd have lunch.

That's what l'll do, Julie.
l'll take care of you.

Well, gee, Mr. Merrill, l...

l don't think that would
work out too well.

l have a boyfriend.
He's a very jealous type.

lf l just look at anybody else,
he has a fit.

He's a very high-strung person.
He has so many problems!

What sort of problems?

His mother. He says
she's a very sensuous woman.

He says she has lovers.

He's not even 100-percent sure
he's legitimate.

He's taking it out
on the whole United States.

- Where did you meet this boy?
- Through a computer.

- A computer?
- Yeah, it's a joke.

All the kids are doing it. You fill out
this questionnaire, send in $3...

...and they send you the phone
numbers of three ideal mates.

He was the first one l called.

How'd you meet Mrs. Merrill?


On a boat,
going to Europe one summer.

l was with a bunch of students
down in steerage.

l sneaked up to the first-class
salon, and there she was.

How romantic and old-fashioned.

Now, wait a minute.
lt wasn't that long ago.

Well, it sounds so much more
passionate than a computer.

That shirt of mine, Julie.
Do you still have it?


Well, after a while, l...

l decided it was just a shirt.

You had so many shirts, l didn't
think you'd miss it or anything.

Do you mind?

No, but l wish...

l wish you'd told me how you felt.

l couldn't.

l would have died.

There's so little love
in the world.

When it's kept a secret,
it's wasted, see?

You're very precious to me.

l won't let you
ever get scared or hurt.

lf there's anything you want,
come to me.

- l'll be your guardian angel.
- Mr. Merrill, l...


Julie! Julie!

Hi, Steve.

- Well, you're not Steve.
- No.

How are you, Mr. Merrill?

- l'm a friend of the Hallorans.
- l know.

- Mind if l ride up with you?
- Not at all.

Don't bother.

Thank you.

How long you been driving
for the Hallorans?

Going on a couple of years now.

- What happened to Steve?
- l'm afraid l don't know.

Man, what a character.
Did he mangle the English language!

We told him he should be
on television.

Big bass voice,
you should've heard that guy sing.

- And a natural sense of rhythm?
- Yeah, that's right.

- l'll take them the paper.
- Thank you.

Thank you for the lift.

And my apologies. l don't know
why l thought you were Steve.

That's okay.

Hello? Oh, hello, honey.

Tell her to hurry.
They'll miss the sun.

She refuses to bring the children
unless we put on our suits.

After the way we raised her?
What's the matter with her?

After the way we raised you?
What's the matter with you, honey?

She says they're her children,
and she'll raise them her way.

- They'll end up repressed.
- Mummy says they'll end up repressed.

She's not going to bring the children.

Good heavens! lt's Neddy Merrill.

- l wonder if he's come to ask us again.
- He'll get the same answer.

- Oh, dear. lt seems a little mean.
- He's not going to get a penny.

Couldn't we help him a little?

For old times' sake?
After all, he's a friend.

Friends are not deductible.

- Hello, Neddy dear!
- How are you, my boy?

- l'm swimming across the county.
- l didn't know one could.

- l met your new chauffeur.
- Nice boy. Sense of personal worth.

- l got a lot of laughs out of Steve.
- Steve had no sense of personal worth.

What does it say?

"At the zoning board meeting,
local property owners objected... the Halloran proposal on the basis
it would overcrowd public schools."

We petitioned to cut the Driscoll estate
into two-acre lots, instead of five.

They're practically
calling us communists.

- Sticks and stones, sticks and stones.
- lt'll be a tough fight, Chester.

- Why is that tree bare?
- Oh, that's an ash.

Well, it must be blighted.

No. Ashes are the last to get their
leaves and the first to lose them.

the public schools, indeed.

As though people with two acres
propagate more than people with five.

That's not even a biological fact.

- Safari Ball. Put me down for a table.
- Oh, Neddy.

What's the matter?
Don't l always support your benefits?

- A table costs $ 1000.
- Okay, put me down.

By the way, my boy, l was awfully
sorry that we couldn't be of help.

l don't recall asking you for help.

How are Lucinda and the girls?

Lucinda's fine and the girls are
home playing tennis.

Now, if you don't mind,
l think l'll get wet.

- Didn't ask for any money after all.
- Just wait.

He must be back on his feet.

He bought a whole table, didn't he?

- Hi.
- Hi.

- l bet your name's Gilmartin.
- Kevin Gilmartin Jr., after my father.

My mother says l've got
a lot to live down.

How about giving me a cup?

- lt's 10 cents.
- l'll owe it to you.

- How do l know l'll collect?
- l'll drop around tomorrow and pay you.

Scout's honor.
Well, l look honest, don't l?


You're shivering.

ls your mother home?

She's in Europe. lt's a honeymoon,
so she couldn't take me.

- How's your father?
- He's in love with a manicurist.

That's what Mother says. l have to
depend on her for information.

- You alone here?
- There's a maid.

l'm gonna invite you over to our house.
l've got two girls you can play with.

- How big?
- Not much bigger than you.

- Do you play with them?
- Sure.

We play tennis
and we go bike riding together.

- l have an English racing bike.
- Fine, bring it over. We'll race you.

- Do you want another?
- No, thanks.

You'll owe me 20 cents.

l haven't time.
l'm swimming home.

- Do you mind if l use your pool?
- Not at all, but...

Well, that does it.
That really does it.

My whole project is ruined.

They emptied the pool
because l'm not a good swimmer.

l'm bad at sports. At school,
nobody wants me on their team.

lt's a lot better that way.
You take it from me.

At first, it's the end of the world
because you're not on the team.

- Till you realize.
- Realize what?

You realize that you're free.
You're your own man.

No need to worry about being captain
and all that status stuff.

They'd never elect me captain
in a million years.

You're the captain of your soul.
That's what counts. Know what l mean?

There's one thing l could do.

l could get in and make believe
l'm swimming across the pool.

But that's kind of cheating, isn't it?

Not if l did all the strokes exactly
as if l were in the water.

- Hey, that's a good idea!
- Let's do it.

Now, there are three things
to remember:


...reach and follow through.
That's it.

Okay, let's start with the crawl.

Hey, you got pretty good form.

l've had lots of lessons.
lt's just that l'm afraid of the water.

Okay, over on your back. That's it.

You know what we do
in the winter?

We flood our tennis courts
and ice-skate on them.

Those kids of mine look so damn cute.
Like elves in their red stocking caps.

- l don't know how to skate.
- You come over, we'll teach you.

- Then we'll have a game of hockey.
- Okay.

Breaststroke. Yes, sir, those kids
of mine think l got all the answers.

Those kids of mine
think l'm just about it.

l've done it! lt's the first time
l've ever swum a whole lane!


l suppose it doesn't count, though,
because there's no water.

- For us there was.
- But that's a lie, isn't it?

No. You see, if you make believe
hard enough that something is true...

...then it is true for you.

- Let's do it again.
- l gotta be going.

- Oh, come on, please?
- lt's getting late.

- l'm sorry, l'd like to, but...
- lf you're gonna leave, then leave.

l'll give you a ring tomorrow.
About coming over.

- What's the matter?
- l thought you were gonna dive.

You thought l was gonna dive?
There's no water in the pool.

Well, so long again.

Ain't it a bitch, huh?
You ever seen anything like it?

Fifteen tons, 30,000 pounds of
structured aluminum and clear plastic.

So there we are, bare-assed,
and we jump in the pool.

lt's all steamy and warm, and the
snowflakes are floating down...

...and the hi-fi system is playing
and Grace and l are on our backs...

...just bobbing along
and l says to Grace:

Well, this party has everything,
including a gatecrasher.

l was hoping
you'd be glad to see me.

You never came when l invited you.
Why should l be glad now?

- Well, l thought, better late than never.
- You thought wrong, buster.

As one of your more
distinguished gatecrashers... l rate a drink?

Suit yourself.

- You're new around here, aren't you?
- What do you mean, new?

- lt's just l haven't seen you at parties.
- l haven't seen you neither.

l'll have a gin on the rocks, please.
When you have a chance.

Here l am again, Leroy.
Fill 'er up.

Some big deal, huh?

Boy, you sure gotta like swimming
to go in for this expenditure.

You look like the type
that goes in for swimming, huh?

Why not? When the world is
so generously supplied with water.

l'm not a maniac about it. Tell you
the truth, it's murder on my hair.

Lovely hair.

Thank you.

You a neighbor from around here?


You a friend of the Biswangers?

They're not even
on our Christmas card list.

Then what are you?

l'm an explorer.

- No, l mean, what are you doing here?
- l'm swimming home.

You married?

- What's that got to do with it?
- You're divorced? What?

Do you want to come with me?

- Where?
- Along a river of sapphire pools.

- l never heard anyone talk like you.
- Come with me, be my love.

- That l've heard before.
- Not from me.

- You're no different than any other guy.
- But l am.

l'm a very special human being.
Noble and splendid.

Come on, Joan.

Hey, wait a minute.

This looks like my wagon.

l'm sure this is my wagon.

This is my wagon.

l wheel my kids around in it.
You see that?

That's where Ella put her foot through,
and l mended it with plywood.

This is my wagon, man.

- What's the trouble here?
- This is my hot dog wagon.

- We bought it.
- You bought it?

- At a white elephant sale.
- What the hell was it doing there?

- Your wife must have donated it.
- She had no right.

- She knows l'm crazy about this thing.
- Take it up with her.

- l'll buy it back from you.
- Not interested.

l'll give you twice what you paid for it.
l'll give you $ 100.

A hundred dollars?
For that piece of junk?

l wanna buy this wagon back.
Name a price, l'll send you a check.

He'll send me a check.

- l'm taking this thing home with me.
- Hands off, you.

You crashed in,
now crash the hell out.

Go on, beat it!

l'll have my lawyers
get in touch with you.

Yeah, you do that.

What are you doing here?

- What a great suit. New?
- Last year's.

- l don't remember that suit.
- You weren't around last year.

God, you look sensational.

- What the hell are you doing here?
- l'm swimming home.

- You're what?
- Pool by pool, across the county.

Good Christ, Ned,
will you ever grow up?

- Let me try.
- No.

Please, let me.

When l was a Boy Scout,
l passed the first-aid test...

...but there wasn't much
in it about splinters.

Now, if you broke something,
l could make you a beautiful splint.

l'm sorry.

There we are.
A regular redwood.

Cut a hole in it,
you could drive a car through.

- What did you do that for?
- Keep away from me, will you, please?

You must be crazy.
Everybody's gone crazy today.

l just came from the Biswangers'.
They snubbed me.

Everybody at their party
snubbed me.

They've even got my hot dog wagon.

Your wagon?

l painted it myself
and put the little umbrella up.

l always kept it in the playroom,

l've never been to your house,

God, l'm tired.
You mind if l have a drink?

All right.

- How about you, you want a bullshot?
- No, thank you.

Oh, come on, now.
You love the way l make them.

We are running out of Tabasco.


Aren't you a little confused
this afternoon?

- How goes it in Never Never Land?
- What?

Has the ideal all-American family
found happiness on the hill?

The hill?

l heard a rumor that you'd
changed your place of residence.

Of course not, that's ridiculous.

Well, how is the president
of the League of Women Voters?

- Who?
- How is your wife?

Oh, she's fine.

l've been away so long
l haven't kept up with the news.

l suppose by now all waitresses in
town must be certified nonvenereal.

Last l heard that was
your wife's latest project:

Physical checkups
for food handlers.

Lucinda's always done
a lot of good in this town.

She just didn't do
so good at home, did she?

Here's to sugar on our strawberries.


Remember last winter in Toronto?

We called room service
and ordered bullshots.

l wasn't in Toronto last winter.

l came up for the opening of your show.
Remember how it snowed?

l ordered a horse and sleigh to take
us from the hotel to the theatre.

l haven't been in Toronto
in three years now.

Was it Boston? What was
the name of that play in Boston?

l came up on a Saturday, remember?
You faked a slipped disk.

Your standby went on for the matinee.
l cured your aching back, didn't l?

You bastard.

Listen, Ned, l want you to get out
of here now, l mean it!

- Why?
- l'm expecting someone.

- Who?
- None of your business who.

A man?

Do you think l've been in a deep
freeze while you've played house?

Yes, a man.

l'm cold.

What's the matter with that sun?
There's no heat in it.


...what happened?

What happened to what?

Nothing's turned out...

Nothing's turned out
the way l thought it would.

When l was a kid,
l used to believe in things.

People seemed happier
when l was a kid.

People used to love each other.
What happened?

You got tossed out of your golden
playpen, that's what happened.

My mother gave me 25 cents for
mowing the lawn around our house.

Seems only a minute ago...

...l could smell the grass.

lt's so fast.

People grow up and then they...

We're all gonna die, Shirley.

That doesn't make
much sense, does it?

Sometimes it does.

Sometimes at 3:00 in the morning.

Did you know l went to spy on you
once in the lobby of the theatre?

- Spy on me?
- lt was a long time ago.

You were meeting your family
to take them to the ballet.

l saw your daughters in their white
gloves and patent leather slippers...

...and that aging Vassar-girl
wife of yours...

...and her understated little suit.

And you...

There you were, shaking hands
with people, smiling, saying hello.

One hour before that,
you'd been in bed with me.

l put that smile on your face,
you damned hypocrite!

l want you to get out of here now.

Swim the pool, do whatever
you have to do, but get out.

As soon as you tell me
who's coming over.

l told you that's
none of your business.

On a 10-point scale,
how would you rate him in bed?

What did l do to you, Shirley?
l'm sorry for whatever l did.

The usual red-blooded
married man thing.

At lunch, you lectured me about
the duties of a father and a husband.

lt's a classic by now, reprinted
yearly in the Reader's Digest.

l don't remember.

lt's the first really chic restaurant
you took me to in New York.

Right out in front
of everyone who counts.

- You cried.
- l also raised my voice.

lt tore me apart to see you crying.

You chose that place because you
thought l wouldn't make a fuss... front of all those mink hats and
snobbish waiters and stylish fags.

No, no.

Did you really think
you could get rid of me... no more noise than
the sound of finger bowls tinkling?

l loved you.

l didn't know what to do.

So you went back to your wife whom
you didn't love. Well, it figures.

lt's her real estate,
she owns all the pots and pans...

...knows where all
the lost shirt buttons are.

Why give up those comforts? Well,
l had a few comforts of my own.

When you were on that train
back to Connecticut...

...remember that groovy bellhop
in my hotel?

- Absolutely primitive, no hang-ups.
- You're lying.

You called me from the station.

l put the phone on the pillow
between us so we both could listen.

All that sniveling about
your innocent wife and children.

We laughed so hard,
we stuffed the sheets in our mouths.

You're lying.

You'll never know, will you?

Let me do your back.

- No.
- Please let me.

Shirley, let's go away
for a couple of weeks.

l read about a great old castle
in lreland.

A real one,
with a moat and a drawbridge.

Some king built it,
hundreds of years ago.

lt's an inn now
with crazy old four-posters...

...and big soft beds with canopies.

Ned, l want you to go away now.

Will you come with me, Shirley?

Do you really think it's that easy?

Of course everything's always
been easy for you, hasn't it?

You could always get
a cab in the rain...

...a woman into bed.

God knows l was
easy enough to get.

You wore a blue slip...

...with a safety pin holding up
your shoulder strap.

l thought we were
going to make it.

l really thought
we were going to make it.

l kissed that safety pin.

Ned, please don't.


l never meant to hurt you, Shirley.

Please believe me.

What's the matter with you?

l'll get you a sweater.


- You must be catching something.
- How can l swim in a sweater?

- Listen, l'll drive you home.
- No.

l've got to swim home.

- For the love of God, why?
- l've just got to. l've got to.

- l'll go get the car.
- No!

l can't go in a car.
lt's impossible.

How can l?

Lucinda's waiting.

The girls are home playing tennis.

l'm swimming home.

My God...

Come with me.
Come with me, Shirley.

- Ned, l can't.
- Please. Come with me.

- Please don't.
- Shirley.

- Leave me alone.
- You know you don't want me to.

Please leave me alone.

We made love together in this pool.
And you loved it, remember?

- l lied.
- You loved it, Shirley. You loved it.

- Ned, don't.
- Please.

- Baby.
- No, Ned.

- Please.
- Ned, no, don't.

No, stop it, Ned.
Don't. Ned, don't. No.

Damn you! No!

l lied! l lied all the time
about loving it anywhere with you!

You bored me to tears with all
your stories about your old deals...

...your old girls, your golf scores,
your bloody war...

...your bloody duty, wife and kids.
You bored me to tears.

- l was playing a scene with you.
- You loved me.

You met your match in me,
you suburban stud. l was acting!

You loved it.

You loved it.

We both loved it.

You loved it!

Just one lane.
l wanna swim just one lane.

- You don't understand.
- l understand you ain't got 50 cents.

Can't you make an exception? My
house is right over there on the hill.

- l'll come back with the money.
- Get the hell out, mister.


...will you lend me 50 cents?

- Please. Please.
- Why the hell should l?

l'll pay you back.
Don't you realize l'll pay you back?

Beat it.

- Howie!
- Mr. Merrill.

- Lend me 50 cents.
- Don't do it.

Howie, for chrissake.

What's 50 cents?
l mean, considering.

Thanks, Howie.

Thanks a lot.
Thanks an awful lot.

Hold it.

Can't you read, buddy?

Take a shower.

Go on back and wash those feet.

Spread your toes.



- Your friends' pools run out of water?
- What?

How do you like our water, Mr. Merrill?

Hi, Jack.
You sure got a lot of chlorine in it.

Stings your eyes?

- Yeah, that's too bad.
- Ain't seen you in a while.

- Too bad you don't get into town.
- We sure had good times.

l used to see you four or five times a
week. A few drinks, a hamburger.

How is the series?

- What are you waiting for? Ask him.
- What series?

- The World Series.
- Two years ago.

- Did you use the seats l gave you?
- They were great seats.

- Are you gonna ask him?
- Shut up.

l'll ask him. When you
gonna pay your bill?

We're decent people,
trying to make a living.

We got bills too.

You're the first deadbeat
we ever got in our place.

Hold it down, Lil.

Now, wait a minute.

Listen, l'm gonna send the both
of you a check tomorrow.

Yeah, that's a laugh all right.

He's no friend of yours.
The check isn't worth anything.

- Okay, that's enough.
- You should see the orders l sent up.

His wife wanted French strawberry
jam. American ain't good enough.

Mrs. Merrill had to have
Dijon mustard.

Hearts of palm, hearts of artichokes.
Some rich diet you have up there.

Hearts of Jack Finney
is what they get.

Let's break it up.
Let's not have a fuss.

l gotta go.
How's the family, Howie?

My boy won the American Legion
Scholarship Award.

- Straight A's.
- Wonderful.

Our kids behave themselves,
not run around drunk, wrecking cars.

He kept his daughters' names
out of the paper.

l bet that check didn't bounce.

- Leave my daughters alone.
- Then teach them manners.

- They never listened to him.
- Shut up.

l'm not blaming the girls. lt's him.
Always trying to be "one of the gang."

My daughters worship me.

They love me and respect me...

...because l'm their father,
and they respect me.

- They respect me.
- Yeah?

My girls love me.

We heard those girls talking in
our place, giving you the raspberry.

You're a liar.

Come on,
don't talk to my wife that way.

She's a goddamned liar.

Wanna know what your girls thought
of you? Your girls laughed at you.

l heard them. They thought
you were a great big joke.