Swimming Pools as Film Icons
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Swimming pools are everywhere, over 8.5 million pools in the U.S., and they’ve played a starring role in many Hollywood movies. Besides being a prominent part of the physical landscape of America, pools are woven into popular culture.

Pools are status symbols, and have been for nearly 70 years. Even before Hollywood helped to glamorize pools in the 50’s-60’s, we had the Great Gatsby’s party pool, and the opulence of the Randolph Hearst Neptune pool.

Pools provide a dramatic backdrop for character development, and add elegance,  sensuality, fear or mystery to the script. Every decade has produced popular movies with memorable pool scenes.

Here’s a timeline of 26 films over the past 8 decades, featuring my favorite star, swimming pools! How many of these pool scenes do you know?

CAT PEOPLE 1942

Cat People 1942 movie featuring pools

ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE 1946

It's a Wonderful life movie, pool scene

SUNSET BOULEVARD 1950

sunset blvd movie pool scene

MILLION DOLLAR MERMAID 1952

Esther Williams Million Dollar Mermaid movie

SOMETHINGS GOT TO GIVE 1962

Something's Got to Give - Marilyn Monroe's last movie...

THE GRADUATE 1967

Dustin Hoffman in the Graduate, floating in the pool

THE SWIMMER 1968

The Swimmer starring Burt Lancaster, 1967

GREAT GATSBY 1974

Robert Redford in the Great Gatsby pool scene

ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW 1975

Rocky Horror Picture Show pool scene

THE JERK 1979

Steve Martin in The Jerk, Pool Scene where Navin Beats the Racists

CADDY SHACK 1981

Caddy Shack film, with the famous Baby Ruth incident

FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH 1982

Fast Times at Ridgement High - "Hi Brad, you know how cute I always thought you were"

COCOON 1985

Cocoon Movie pool scene

BACK TO SCHOOL 1986

Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School, doing the Triple Lindy

SAND LOT 1993

Sand Lot movie, one of the most memorable movie pool scenes

BOOGIE NIGHTS 1996

Boogie Nights movie pool scene

WILD THINGS 1998

Denise Richards and Kevin Bacon in Wild Things movie

RUSHMORE 1998

Bill Murray in Rushmore, pool scene

ALMOST FAMOUS 2000

Billy on the Roof top yells "I am a Golden God", before jumping into the pool

MEET THE PARENTS 2000

Pool Volleyball strategy session, before Ben Stillers spiking the ball - Meet the Parents movie pool scene

SWIMFAN 2002

Swimfan movie - stalker girl watching her prey swimming

OLD SCHOOL 2003

Old School movie, Will Ferrel takes a dive, after getting hit with a horse tranquilizer to the jugular

GROWN-UPS 2010

Grown-ups movie pool scene - water turns blue if you urinate!

SKYFALL 2012

James Bond in Skyfall movie pool scene

OBLIVION 2013

Oblivion movie pool scene - a pool in SPACE!

PASSENGERS 2016

Jennifer Lawrence in Passengers, with the anti-gravity pool, just before suffering gravity loss

And there are many more examples, I had to stop myself! Pools are as part of America as baseball, Mom and apple pie. They are indeed everywhere, and not just physical but meta-physical too – a part of our shared culture and heritage, swimming pools have become part of our very selves.

 


Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 


Comments

Swimming Pools as Film Icons — 1 Comment

  1. Never thought about swimming pools through this angle, though it was always there in the subconscious as we always watch movies and lots of them have swimming pools specially in the villains Den.

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