Let’s celebrate the first official weekend of summer The Jimbo List way – with a slate of great swimming pool scenes from movies and television. Go ahead. Dive in!
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
The technological wonders of 1946 are on full display in this delightful scene, in which Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed are dancing in a high school gymnasium. Someone flips a switch and – wouldn’t you know it – the gym floor opens up to reveal a swimming pool!
NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION (1983)
Christie Brinkley will be forever known for her sexy pool scene with Chevy Chase in this 1980s comedy classic. Oh, the things that happen on the way to Walley World.
MEET THE PARENTS (2000)
Of course, there’s plenty of adventure to be found in the pool right at your own home. One of the many humiliations that Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) endured at the hands of his in-laws, including Robert DeNiro, was a brutal game of pool volleyball. Hilarious.
SNL’S “SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING” (1984)
This filmed bit from “Saturday Night Live” is absolute brilliance. Harry Shearer and the great Martin Short play a couple of guys hoping to make the summer Olympics as male synchronized swimmers.
THE SWIMMER (1968)
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve always found this movie compelling. Burt Lancaster stars as a Connecticut suburbanite who decides to swim home via all the backyard swimming pools in his path. Because this is an adaptation of a John Cheever story, you know there’s going to be plenty of alienation and dysfunction along the way.
On a much less serious note, we have that masterpiece of attitude and snarky charm, “Caddyshack.” You’ll never look at a candy bar the same way again, thanks to a particular scene featuring a stray Baby Ruth.
Bill Murray gets a back-to-back visit to The List. This is one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, “Rushmore.” No one rocks Budweiser trunks like our man Murray.
SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
“Sunset Boulevard” takes the swimming pool scene into the realm of film noir. Poor William Holden plays a Hollywood screenwriter who winds up in the deep end of things.
FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF (1986)
Bueller’s buddy, played by Alan Ruck, tries to distance himself from his youthful fears and hurt by sinking to the bottom of the family pool.
WILD THINGS (1998)
Although it was not a great film, “Wild Things” did make waves due to a steamy pool scene with Neve Campbell and Denise Richards.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE’S THE BEWITCHIN’ POOL (1964)
In this episode, two unhappy children discover, at the bottom of their parents’ pool, a doorway to a special place where mom and dad don’t fight. Bad acting, but a bracing concept.
For those who thought they’d never want to see Wilford Brimley topless, I offer “Cocoon.” A key scene has Brimley and a cadre of duffers taking a VERY rejuvenating swim.
TOWER HEIST (2011)
“Tower Heist” didn’t get great reviews, but it really wasn’t bad. It also happened to include one of the coolest pools in movie history.
BATHING BEAUTY (1944)
This film gives us one of the true wonders of cinema – Esther Williams and a phalanx of swimmers, turning a pool into a Technicolor playground. The cast of this odd musical featured the unlikely duo of Red Skelton and Basil Rathbone.
The sci-fi/horror movie genre takes a memorable dip in “Species.” Natasha Henstridge plays a gorgeous woman looking for love, but she isn’t exactly what she appears to be.
TOMORROWLAND EPISODE OF MAD MEN (2010)
“Mad Men” fans will remember how important it was when Don Draper saw his kids playing in the hotel pool with his secretary, Megan. The watery frolic showed him the possibility of a young, fun, fresh new start.
THE GRADUATE (1967)
Rarely has there been such a perfect blend of acting, directing and zeitgeist. This scene makes a swimming pool the focal point for a larger statement about youthful anxiety and discontent.
So that’s my List. What would you add?