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Swing Shift (1984)

PG | | Drama, Romance, War | 13 April 1984 (USA)
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A woman finds romance when she takes a job at an aircraft plant to help make ends meet after her husband goes off to war.

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(as Rob Morton)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kay Walsh
...
Lucky Lockhart
...
...
Biscuits Toohey
...
Jack Walsh
Sudie Bond ...
Annie
...
Jeannie
Patty Maloney ...
Laverne
...
Violet
...
Edith
...
Johnny Bonnaro
Morris 'Tex' Biggs ...
Clarence
Reid Cruickshanks ...
Spike
Danny Darst ...
Deacon (as Daniel Dean Darst)
...
Rupert George
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Storyline

Jack and Kay Walsh are typical of many couples of the 1940s, where he is the breadwinner and she the housewife dependent upon him to do the man's duties around the house. Jack believes one of their neighbors in the housing complex in which they live in Los Angeles is white trash - he letting her know so at every opportunity, while Kay is quietly curious about her. That neighbor is streetwise Hazel Zanussi, an aspiring singer who does get a chance to sing on occasion at the club managed by her casual boyfriend, Biscuits Toohey, although he relegates her to being one of the taxi dancers more often against her wants, while he cheats on her behind her back despite truly having feelings for her. Hazel just wants to make an honest living. Their worlds are turned upside down on December 7, 1941 when the US enters WWII with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Jack immediately enlists in the Navy, and while he will send money home, his decision leaves Kay largely to fend for herself. Against... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When America marched off to war the women marched into the factory. From then on...nothing was the same.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tjejen som jobbade skift  »

Box Office

Gross:

$6,700,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The blouse Christine Lahti wears in the confrontation scene with Hawn, emblazoned with a musical staff and notes was originally worn by an extra in Mommie Dearest. See more »

Goofs

The factory continues to produce SBDs with a red circle within the white star many months after it had been officially eliminated (May 1942) See more »

Quotes

[final lines]
Kay Walsh: Hazel... we showed 'um didn't we.
Hazel: Boy, did we ever.
[both hug and cry]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over old, black and white photos. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Life Itself (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Serenade in Blue
Composed by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
Performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Homefront
6 February 2016 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The story of Swing Swift was probably played out several thousand times during the World War II years. While the men went to war the women did their bit in industries to keep America's industrial machine running. No doubt they developed itches that needed scratching. One such was Goldie Hawn, the protagonist of this story.

On Pearl Harbor Day Goldie was the happily married wife of Ed Harris, who's nice enough, but a bit on the thick side and a regular alpha male. Harris goes into the navy and Hawn who doesn't want to live on just his allotment checks takes a job in an aircraft factory. She goes to work with her neighbor Christine Lahti whom she and Harris never really socialized with that much, but now they become best of friends.

An even better friendship develops with musician Kurt Russell who because gigs are getting fewer and farther between also takes a job in the same aircraft factory. He still blows his trumpet at some clubs in the wee small hours of the morning after the Swing Shift. He's also a quite legitimate 4-F due to a heart murmur.

Try as she might Hawn is unable to resist Russell's persistence. Then when Harris gets leave and returns all the issues come to a head.

Swing Shift which has a nice score of 40s era music which is my kind of music would never get a bad review from me if for that alone. But director Jonathan Demme really does well capturing the mood of the 40s when we were a people united trying to save the world from one nasty brutal tyranny. The women are shown to have a really tough time both mastering the defense jobs they were doing and taking a lot from the men still working there.

As we all know until recently Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn were the happiest unmarried couple in the history of Hollywood. That comes right through in Swing Shift and that carries a great deal of the film.

Christine Lahti got Swing Shift's only Oscar recognition with her nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She was one sassy woman who takes nothing off no one in the human race. It's also left her sad and a bit bitter. Before Pearl Harbor she was a nightclub singer and that world has left a mark on her. But she does have the right stuff in the end.

Swing Shift is a marvelous film recapturing a bygone era of a truly United States of America.


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