6.3/10
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13 user 6 critic

Swing High, Swing Low (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 12 March 1937 (USA)
A singer stranded in Panama moves in with an ex-soldier and his hypochondriac roommate; she and the former fall in love, but their romance is threatened by work and the arrival of an old flame.

Director:

Mitchell Leisen

Writers:

Virginia Van Upp (screen play), Oscar Hammerstein II (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Gene Raymond, Laura Hope Crews
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carole Lombard ... Maggie King
Fred MacMurray ... Skid Johnson
Charles Butterworth ... Harry
Jean Dixon ... Ella
Dorothy Lamour ... Anita Alvarez
Harvey Stephens ... Harvey Howell
Cecil Cunningham ... Murphy
Charles Arnt ... Georgie
Franklin Pangborn ... Henri
Anthony Quinn ... The Don
Charles Judels ... Tony
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Storyline

In Panama, Maggie King meets soldier Skid Johnson on his last day in the army and reluctantly agrees to a date to celebrate. The two become involved in a nightclub brawl which causes Maggie to miss her ship back to the States. Now stranded, she's forced to move in with Skid and his pal Harry. She soon falls in love with Skid. Skid gets a job playing the trumpet at a local club and becomes a big success. Fame and fortune go to his head which eventually destroys his relationship Maggie and his career. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

12 March 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Comenzó en el trópico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$739,621 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the top hits for Paramount for the 1936-37 film season. See more »

Quotes

Skid Johnson: How about meeting me on the dock, under the moon?
Marguerite 'Maggie' King: What if there isn't a moon?
Skid Johnson: I'll meet you under the dock!
Skid Johnson: No kiddin- how about you and me going places tonight when your boat gets in? Okay?
Marguerite 'Maggie' King: No kiddin- how about you scram until I've seen some of the scenery down here.
Skid Johnson: I AM the scenery down here. I'm Skid Johnson, the one man army. Ask anybody.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Dance of Life (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Lonely Little Señorita
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Julian Oliver
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Written for the movie but not sung
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A bit too heavy on the nose
29 August 2005 | by raskimonoSee all my reviews

I am quite the Mitchell Leisen fan so it was a great anticipation that I rented this movie but the print I got was extremely bad, so worn down from use and scorched seemingly beyond repair, the movie was so dark. So dark that in certain scenes that are cinematographed in the dark, you can't see a single thing. That said, I believe I share the same opinion as the first review of this movie. It starts out unusually and does not tote the lines and rhythms of your typical Hollywood 30's movie. Heck, not even your typical Hollywod movie of any era. It seems the director has been influenced by the Europeans because there is a certain caustic realism to the proceedings from the opening shot which is so crafted in camera movement and placement as Maggie (Carole Lombard) and Skid (Fred Macmurray) meet. You half expect them to start singing "Make believe" from Show boat.It starts with a few laughs and poor Anthony in a one scene role where he speaks not a word of English gets slapped around by Freddie. Skids is a bum who doesn't care that he's a bum. That's why he signs up in the army where he can hide from the world. He's just been released though and in a set of screenplay shenanigans, she misses her boat for New York. This is when the movie kicks into high gear and we begin to get those French movie of the sixties vibes to the whole proceedings. The scenes are so well acted by Lombard and Cecil Cunningham, the movie gains a pulse. MacMurray is good too as he and Lombard fall for each other as she nurtures his talent for the trumpet. Then the temptress arrives in the form of Dorothy Lamour. Enough with plot. The movie has fantastic montage sequences that dazzled me. They are very good. And Lombard scores a home run in this movie but in the second half, a bit more is called of Freddie and he fails to deliver the goods. With a heavily melodramatic ending and an actor you don't believe, the movie falls short but since it is not your typical movie in structure, set design, and direction. It is worth a look. For what is what it was one of the 37 hits of the 1936-37 season. I don't know its exact rank though.


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