View Full Version : Movie about swimming

July 17th, 2005, 05:45 PM
Hi! Just wanted to pass on the name of a movie I watched last night- "Swimming Upstream". It was a good flick based on a true story about a champion backstroker from Australia. It portrayed his life from childhood and his endless pursuit to please his father. It was motivating to see the guy train so hard.
Does anyone know of any other good movies about swimming or swimmers?

July 17th, 2005, 08:50 PM
Is it an old movie or a more recent one?

July 17th, 2005, 09:10 PM
It's fairly recent. www.mgm.com/swimmingupstream/#

It's a true story about Australia's backstroke legend Tony Fingleton who grew up in an abusive home, suffering through much abuse from an alcoholic father. Really well done.

There was a movie from way back in black and white called The Swimmer. That's a classic.

July 17th, 2005, 11:40 PM
Burt Lancaster the star of The Swimmer?

July 18th, 2005, 08:46 AM
He was indeed. It was released in 1968.

July 18th, 2005, 09:15 AM
According to imdb.com a remake of "The Swimmer" is in production with Alec Baldwin.

The plot summary for the 1968 version is given as:

A pathetic middle aged loser, suffering mental delusions, decides to swim home via his neighbors' pools. He was met at each estate with a spate of emotions; great affection, indifference, snobbery, rejection, disgust, and jeering laughter. Many of these feelings either startled or shook him to the bone, but none so much as what he felt upon arriving home. Splendid drama with great performances and slicing dialogue. Definitely one of Lancaster's top pictures.

Roger Ebert gives it four stars and says:

What we really have here, then, is a sophisticated retelling of the oldest literary form of all: the epic. A hero sets off on a journey. He has many strange adventures along the way, during which he learns the tragic nature of life. At last he arrives at his goal, older and wiser and with many a tale to tell. The journey Cheever's swimmer makes has been made before in other times and lands by Ulysses, Don Quixote, Huckleberry Finn and Augie March.

July 18th, 2005, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by valhallan
It's fairly recent. www.mgm.com/swimmingupstream/#

It's a true story about Australia's backstroke legend Tony Fingleton who grew up in an abusive home, suffering through much abuse from an alcoholic father. Really well done.

There was a movie from way back in black and white called The Swimmer. That's a classic.

Thanks for the link! I tried, however, to find "Swimming Upstream" near me, w/ no luck. I'm in the Philly area. Hoping to get hold of it at some point in dvd/videocassette.

Sam Perry
July 18th, 2005, 11:07 AM
"Swimfan" is a great one! (Just kidding...) :D

Paul Smith
July 18th, 2005, 11:18 AM
Sam.....wasn't that based on your life? :)

July 18th, 2005, 11:53 AM

what a classic
how inspiring


unfortunately, I did watch swim fan and noticed they didn't have a very good swimming consultant working on the movie.

If you watch the timing board in the movie during the meet scene, the times are all wrong, he's supposed to be a really great swimmer but the times didn't seem to make any sense.

a non swimmer wouldn't have noticed this

It would be great to have a really awesome
swimming movie, something like "coach carter" or "Vision quest"
something well scripted, totally inspiring
some amazing untold story

or maybe a comedy ala "animal house," "american pie" or "euro trip," about a university swim team the pranks they pull, their parties, the characters and their antics. featuring Swimming, school, Sex, drugs, and rock n roll

I've got some great stories I could fictionalize to protect the guilty.


Originally posted by Sam Perry
"Swimfan" is a great one! (Just kidding...) :D

July 18th, 2005, 01:04 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
According to imdb.com a remake of "The Swimmer" is in production with Alec Baldwin.

This may be a difficult follow-up by comparison to the original movie. Alec Baldwin would make an excellent Fred Flinstone. Compared to Burt who was a pro-wrestler before taking up acting...he's going to need to drop a few pounds.

Frank Thompson
July 18th, 2005, 01:32 PM
Wow, what a movie. That guy Ben, why he could go over to the pool any time of day or night and swim in the pool. He had keys to any room in the school. And the coach would always say Ben, keep focused, stop thinking about that girl friend. I remember in the movie the coaches from Stanford came to look at the Ben and the guys in the 100 Free go 1:43 for future recruitments. And then the mandatory drug testing before all of the local high school meets where its real easy to spike the tests. Poor Ben got his samples spiked and couldn't be recruited by Stanford.

It seemed like anybody could get into the swimming pool anytime of day or night and our hero Ben had to save his girl friend from the jealous swim fan with a battle in the pool.

July 18th, 2005, 02:42 PM
This seems like a great indie film, can't wait to check it out.
Already out in DVD.

July 18th, 2005, 02:45 PM
"Swimming Upstream" was good. I went in with low hopes and came out very surprised.

And since we're talking about swimming movies you can't forget "Million Dollar Mermaid" and all the other Ester Williams movies. Classics.

Sam Perry
July 18th, 2005, 10:29 PM
Sam.....wasn't that based on your life?

Yeah the girl in it looks just like my wife...:D

You have to admit "the scene" was eye popping to say the least.

July 19th, 2005, 01:32 PM
Well I saw this last night & I thought it was really great-very moving. I actually learned alot & totally recommend.

October 27th, 2007, 01:34 AM
On a Clear Day is about an English middle aged man who loses his job and decides to swim the English Channel as a way to regain his self-esteem and confidence.

The character development is spotty and it moves along kind of predictably. There is a subplot that redeems it a bit.

OK to watch once. Take it out from the library.

February 14th, 2008, 01:46 PM
"Pride" (based on coach Jim Ellis, played by Terrence Howard) was a good flick, although I get the impression that real life story was more exciting than this somewhat standard sports flick.

Next movie in my Netflix queue is "Heart: The Marilyn Bell Story", a made-for-television biopic about Canadian swimmer Marilyn Bell (played by Caroline Dhavernas).

February 14th, 2008, 01:50 PM
Marilyn Bell when I was at the dedication at Niagara on the lake she came up to me and said "Hi Big Boy, I had a crush on you"

She sent me this email a couple of months ago

Hi George,
I know you won't remember my married name, but perhaps you'll remember me from our aquatic days...a voice from the past...It's Marilyn Bell here.
Bryan Findlay sent me your website. It was fun reading your bio and remembering all the good times I experienced at Hamilton Aquatic Club. I also have vivid memories of my trip to Hamilton after I crossed Lake Ontario. In fact somewhere in a box I have a photo of you and I taken on the steps of Hamilton City Hall. You looking splendid in your uniform, me looking shell shocked over all the hoopla.

Wishing you safe swimming, Marilyn

February 22nd, 2008, 01:35 PM
George, do you have any thoughts about "Heart: The Marilyn Bell Story"? I'm wondering how it captured swimming in that time and place. :canada:

I enjoyed it quite a lot, keeping in mind that it was made on a TV budget. But that is part of its charm.

1) The cut-off for making the club team was 1 min for a 50 yard free. Guessing the script writer meant 100 free, or 30 seconds.
2) Parts of the story are exaggerated (especially the "comedy" with the CNE promoters)

1) Funky lane lines, goggles, and swim suits.
2) Swimmers hesitating before diving into the river because they were cold
3) Caroline Dhavernas :D
4) I've never swam in Lake Ontario longer than 30 minutes, but I thought they demonstrated the struggle of a 21 hour swim pretty well :drown:
5) All the coaching tricks done by Ryder to keep Bell going when she couldn't :whiteflag: . Especially the scene where the reporter (in the boat with Ryder) called him "despicable" and Bell yells that she hates him. (Excellent coach-athlete dynamic.)
6) The other people in the movie saying Bell didn't have talent because she enjoyed swimming and wasn't a fast sprinter. (Sounds like the forum here sometimes... :bolt: )

February 22nd, 2008, 02:50 PM
Youtube video induction to the swimming hall of fame. http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-7878471717169104086&q=marilyn+bell&total=75&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0
In the video she is wearing Swim Pro goggles in most of the swimming portions, when they mention the English Channel she is wearing Shake & Nods pictured below. I believe she wore a Janzen swim suit.during her swims.

The cut off time would be correct, Gus Ryder's club The Lakeshore swim club was almost a a learn to swim school. They took almost none swimmers into the club. Of course they had lots of really good swimmers also. Allen Eagleson the NHL guy was a member. The guy who got in trouble, he was not a bad swimmer and was a good friend of mine. He had a couple of sisters that I really liked.

I have the movie on DVD and will watch it again and I will tell you about the accurecy.

Diving into the Credit River and the Humber River could be very cold. I have shivered many a time before swimming in those two rivers, but worse then the cold they were very badly polluted.

There were very few swimmers at that time who could swim 100 yards in 1 minute.

There were amazing crowds at the CNE to see the finish. You should have seen the exit from the CNE grounds that left to see her finish down the way. She did not finish at the CNE waterfront. I will check the numbers but I know there were over 200,000 at the exhibition waterfront waiting for her to arrive.

I am going to download the goggles of the time and add them in acouple of minutes. These goggles happen to be the ones worn By Cliff Lumsdon a great Marathon swimmer of our time.

March 1st, 2008, 06:39 PM
Just noticed in a different forum that Canadian TV had a movie in January called "Victor" (Davis). No idea if it will ever show up in the US, but I'd be interested if those people in the frozen tundra thought this would be worth searching for. :canada:

The lead actor, Mark Lutz, besides being a guest actor on one of my favorite series (Angel), wrote the screenplay and was a national-level swimmer before injuries.

March 1st, 2008, 07:06 PM
Here Is the add http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.showvids&friendID=161479215

A great swimmer with a personality of a .....

Blackbeard's Peg
March 3rd, 2008, 03:31 PM
a former teammate of mine was the swim body double for the main character in Swimfan.