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Swing Kids (1993)

 -  Drama | Music | Musical  -  5 March 1993 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 11,728 users   Metascore: 39/100
Reviews: 102 user | 12 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

The story of a close-knit group of young kids in Nazi Germany who listen to banned swing music from the US. Soon dancing and fun leads to more difficult choices as the Nazis begin ... See full summary »

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Title: Swing Kids (1993)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Julia Stemberger ...
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Otto
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Emil Lutz
Johan Leysen ...
Herr Schumler
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Herr Hinz
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Bannführer
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Helga (as Jessica Stevenson)
Carl Brincat ...
H.J. Thug
Mary Fogarty ...
Mama Klara Müller (as Mary Fogerty)
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Storyline

The story of a close-knit group of young kids in Nazi Germany who listen to banned swing music from the US. Soon dancing and fun leads to more difficult choices as the Nazis begin tightening the grip on Germany. Each member of the group is forced to face some tough choices about right, wrong, and survival. Written by Susan Southall <stobchatay@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world on the brink of war. You either march to one tune or dance to another. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 March 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Swing Kids  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$5,632,086 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kenneth Branagh is reported to have refused any billing at all rather than be billed above Christian Bale and the other boys who he said were the stars of the film. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film, when Willy is running after Peter and stops, there is clearly nothing at Willy's feet. Later, after being told "Swing Heil", he grabs an umbrella on a wet poster at his feet that clearly wasn't there before. See more »

Quotes

Arvid: You think that just because you're not doing it yourself, you're not a part of it? Well, I'm sick and tired of doing my part.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Outlaw (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

'TAIN'T WHAT YOU DO (IT'S THE WAY THAT CHA DO IT)
Written by Sy Oliver and James Young
Performed by Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra
Courtesy of Columbia Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent portrayal of swing and moral struggle
24 December 2003 | by (Denver, USA) – See all my reviews

Anyone who has stepped on to the dance floor with a live swing band playing knows just how well Swing Kids captures the electricity of a night of swing. Anyone who has strapped on their best duds an hour earlier knows knows the romance and anticipation captured perfectly as Peter Muller (Robert Sean Leonard) dresses for his last night of swing. This movie was in no small measure part of the impetus for the swing revival in the mid 90's, and I personally get "in the mood" for a night of cuttin' rug with Janis Siegel's incredible rendition of "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon" from the film. But what makes this film truly superlative is its honest dealings with ordinary Germans' motivations for complacency towards or participation in Nazism. In Nazi Germany it was in everybody's best interest (save the Jews) to play along. From Peter's mother who just wants her to children live happily and avoid the terrible fate of their father to Thomas Berger (Christian Bale) who finds acceptance and encouragement for the first time, they do so for the reasons that would tempt each of us sorely. The horrible truth of the Holocaust is that, like the Germans, very few of us possess the selflessness and moral courage it would have required to oppose the evil tide of Nazism. Swing Kids is almost alone in its portrayal of this chilling truth among Holocaust and World War II films. Robert Sean Leonard's portrayal of this moral struggle for understanding and courage is very moving. (Of course, there's noone better at playing angst-ridden. c.f. Dead Poet's Society.) As he dances his last dance, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, the world spinning around him, he finds a rare kind of release that is perhaps found only on the dance floor. And yes, his brother's cries, "Swing Heil! Swing Heil!", in the final scene give me a lump in the throat every time. For all these reasons and more, Swing Kids is an excellent film.


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