Movies With Swimming As Theme

Swimming is such an interesting subject that not a few movie makers considered at one time or another creating films based on this topic. In fact, there already were a number of films shown that carried the theme of "swimming." Here are eight of them:

"Dangerous When Wet"

This is a 1953 musical that starred Esther Jane Williams, an American competitive swimmer who set a number of national and regional records during her teen years. The movie is most memorable for its featured animated swimming sequence, showing Williams with Tom and Jerry, the well-loved cat-and-mouse duo.

"The Swimmer"

The title alone leaves no doubt that this 1968 film touches on the theme of "swimming." It starred Burt Lancaster in the lead role (Ned Merrill). At one crucial point in his life, Ned vowed to "swim home," by swimming in every pool that he'll come across in his journey.


Classified as a sports drama, this 1993 film had Lauren Jackson in the lead role of Alex Archer. Alex dreams of competing in the Olympics (the Rome Olympics in particular), and seriously prepares for it. She's teeming with confidence when another swimmer of her caliber emerges and begins challenging her in every competition she enters in.


This 2002 American film starred Jesse Bradford as Ben Cronin, an aspiring Olympian swimmer training seriously to impress an athletic scout who is set to visit their place. His Olympic swimming dream is placed in jeopardy when the girl he had a one-night stand with threatens to wreck his life.

"On A Clear Day"

This is a 2005 British drama movie, which starred Peter Mullan in the role of Frank Redmond. Frank is an engineer in the shipyards on the River Clyde when he was let go of the company he's working for due to redundancy. Finding himself suddenly out of job, Frank, a naturally strong swimmer, gets a seemingly "out-of-this-world" idea with his friends to swim across the English Channel. His obsession for this new goal led to his rediscovering himself.

"Swimming Upstream"

This is a 2003 Australian film based on the life story of Australian swimmer Tony Fingleton (Jesse Spencer played the role). Tony grew up in a troubled family, constantly overshadowed by his five siblings in their father's eyes. Swimming became his outlet and it is through his extraordinary talent in this sport that he felt he finally has that chance of making his father proud of him.


This 2007 film starred Terrence Howard as Jim Ellis, a real-life swimming coach. Despite being an excellent swimmer, Jim was often the subject of discrimination from swimmers of other teams because he was the only black swimmer on his college team. As a coach, he dedicated himself to "saving" the troubled teens of Philadelphia by starting a swim team for them.


This is a 2-hour movie that was telecast on CBC Television in 2008. It is about the life of Victor Davis (played by swimmer Mark Lutz), a Canadian Olympic and world champion swimmer. The film captures Victor's heroic legacy, from his winning 29 national titles to his triumphant swim for the Gold in the 200-meter breaststroke event of the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Other notable films about swimming include "Les Diaboliques," "The Guardian," "Alphaville," "Children of Glory," and "Water Lilies".

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