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Swing (1999)

 -  Comedy | Music | Romance  -  7 May 1999 (UK)
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An optimistic guy is arrested and thrown in jail, while there he learns the saxophone from a fellow inmate. Once he's released from jail, he and a few friends form a swing band while he ... See full summary »



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Title: Swing (1999)

Swing (1999) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Credited cast:
Martin 'Marty' Luxford
Joan Woodcock
Paul Usher ...
Liam Luxford
Sid Luxford
Rita Tushingham ...
Mags Luxford
Danny McCall ...
Alexei Sayle ...
Mighty Mac
Tom Georgeson ...
Uncle Matty
Gavin Watson ...
Orangeman / Piano
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jon Huyton ...
Assistant Hotel Manager


An optimistic guy is arrested and thrown in jail, while there he learns the saxophone from a fellow inmate. Once he's released from jail, he and a few friends form a swing band while he tries to win back his girlfriend who married the police officer who arrested him! Written by Michael G. Moen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Getting this dream off the ground takes some pretty fancy footwork!


Comedy | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 May 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Swing - Ritmos E Desejos  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£132,138 (UK) (7 May 1999)


£277,762 (UK) (14 May 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Did You Know?


Jack: Playing the sax is like telling the truth. You never have to tell the same lie twice - if you tell the truth.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, they mention five hamsters were killed in the making of this film...and how if they had not moved, the staple gun would not have been used. See more »


Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens
Written by Alex Kramer, Joan Whitney
Performed by Louis Jordan
See more »

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User Reviews

Lisa Stansfield rocks in this delightful homage to the swing revival!
20 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The reason I saw Swing at all is because I am a big Lisa Stansfield fan. When I discovered she was making her theatrical debut in a movie about a struggling swing band, I was excited not only to see Ms. Stansfield in her first acting role, but to hear her cover some great big-band standards with that signature voice of hers.

If you get nothing else out of this movie at all, the soundtrack is worth at least one viewing.

Overall, I thought this movie was rather entertaining and very charming, a characteristically cynical and quirky British comedy, with a few minor snags, mainly from plot holes and dialog. (Also, as an American viewer, it was difficult at first to get used to the heavy Liverpool accent.) The one-liners at times try too hard to be funny, but luckily those moments were often quickly followed by one of the movie's greatest strengths, its music.

It's not to say the film has nothing BUT its soundtrack to keep it entertaining. Hugo Speer gives a commendable performance as the frustrated protagonist Martin Luxford—an unlucky chap whose last get-rich-quick-scheme landed him a 2 year prison sentence. While serving time, he learns to play the saxophone from his inmate, and is inspired to change his ways during his parole by starting a swing band. Life is not easy for Marty—his parents live in the projects and his brother is a conniving thief who sells his unsuspecting targets the very security systems he breaks into. Things are so bleak you just beg for some light at the end of the tunnel. But Marty plucks right along persuading his friends to join in on his enterprise and holding out hope that he can live his dream. This set-up, while not thoroughly original, is played out well by Speer. When the movie is not rip-roarin' to the sounds of the jazz age, its up to Speer to make us root for Marty, which he succeeds in doing with devilish charm.

Enter Joan, the ex-girlfriend, played by Stansfield. Marty singles her out to be the lead singer of his developing band (surprise! surprise!) but there's one snag—Joan is married to the police officer who put Marty away in the first place. This sets up all sorts of wonderful possibilities for a love triangle, but Danny McCall comes off as almost unbelievably psychotic as Joan's husband Andy. He seems more obsessed with his job (the man wears police uniform pajamas to bed)than with keeping Joan's affections, and instead of insecure about his marriage he comes off as unreasonable and inexplicably bent on making Marty's life a living hell. It also becomes increasingly difficult to understand why Joan married the man in the first place, since he displays not even one iota of a redeeming quality. But it is fun to see Joan square off against Andy later in the film, in moments where Stansfield shines in ferocious—but fabulous—glory.

Despite some minor but persistent flaws, this movie is a pleasure to watch. Peppered with an odd array of supporting characters—including the intimidating Mighty Mac and his Orange Brigade brass section who look like they're armed for a hit(mob-style, not musical)—the film occasionally takes a delightfully bizarre turn even in otherwise predictable moments.

I would definitely recommend this movie—I have seen it several times—especially if you are looking for an easy, unchallenging but delightful story about the spirit to overcome adversity, an homage to the swing revival movement at the end of the 90's, or a chance to see Lisa Stansfield take down the Liverpool police department.

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Any DVD release planned? talldancer100
dvd or VHS i-weiss
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