Frank Perry's (or Sydney Pollack's, depending on who you talk to) THE SWIMMER is a devastatingly haunting film based on the John Cheever short story of the same name. You know, the one you read in high school. Burt Lancaster stars as Ned Merrill, a well-off but out-of-work advertising executive who swims his way through the backyard pools of this affluent Connecticut enclave only to slowly lose his grip on his present confident state at the hands of gossiping neighbors. It is existential mid-life crisis personified, vividly. There's no doubt MAD MEN used it as a point of reference.