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Swoon (1992)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama | 25 September 1992 (UK)
The true story of gay lovers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr. who kidnapped and murdered a child in the early 1920s for kicks. The plot covers the months before the crime, the ... See full summary »

Director:

Tom Kalin

Writers:

Tom Kalin, Hilton Als (collaborating writer)
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6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Schlachet Daniel Schlachet ... Richard Loeb
Craig Chester ... Nathan Leopold Jr.
Ron Vawter ... State's Attorney Crowe
Michael Kirby ... Detective Savage
Michael Stumm Michael Stumm ... Doctor Bowman
Valda Z. Drabla Valda Z. Drabla ... Germaine Reinhardt
Natalie Stanford Natalie Stanford ... Susan Lurie
Isabela Araujo Isabela Araujo ... Venus in Furs Diva
Jill 'Spanky' Buchanan Jill 'Spanky' Buchanan ... Venus in Furs Diva
Nashom Benjamin Nashom Benjamin ... Venus in Furs Diva / Mona Foot (as Mona Foot)
Trash Trash ... Venus in Furs Diva
Trasharama Trasharama ... Venus in Furs Diva
Nashom Wooden Nashom Wooden ... Venus in Furs Diva
Peter Bowen Peter Bowen ... Factory Workman
Ryan Landry Ryan Landry ... Ivory
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Storyline

The true story of gay lovers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr. who kidnapped and murdered a child in the early 1920s for kicks. The plot covers the months before the crime, the investigation, trial and final fate of the two men. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Was it a crime of passion? Or a passion for crime?

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1992 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Swoon - Colapso do Desejo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$340,147
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The barber shaving Craig Chester in one scene is played by Jim Crawford, who did hair and makeup for the film. He is also the prison barber shaving the boys' heads later in the film. See more »

Goofs

The two lead characters use a telephone with Touch Tone dialing-systems and other modern devices (TV remote controls, ballpoint pens, etc), even though the film is set in the early 1920's. The placement of such anachronistic objects was deliberate on the part of the filmmakers. See more »

Quotes

Nathan Leopold Jr.: If I do what you want...
Richard Loeb: I'll do what you want.
See more »

Connections

Version of Rope (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

Partners In Crime
22 July 2009 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

In this modern version of the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder case of the 1920s, "Swoon" stresses the gay angle, relative to "Compulsion" (1959), a film of the same story, but burdened by the watchful eye of the censors associated with the moralistic Hays Code. Actual court records do in fact indicate that the relationship or bond between these two guys was primarily sexual.

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb apparently had a masochistic pact. And "Swoon" asks the question: which guy was in control? The answer seems to be that they alternated control. Also, compared to "Compulsion", more attention is given to the actual murder of the teenage boy.

This film is quite stylized. Archival images and lyrical cutaways unrelated to the story are used because they are thematically relevant. Further, some scenes are intended as dreams. And non-period piece elements add textural perspective.

The real Nathan Leopold is shown in historical footage, first as a young man at about the time of the actual killing. He is shown in a sequence with a group of fellow ornithologists. And near the end of the film, he is shown as an older man, having been released from prison.

"Swoon" was shot in B&W. Images are a tad grainy, maybe deliberately so, as part of the film's visual style. Casting and acting are fine. I did not care for the background music. It's too whimsical and kooky sounding, given the subject matter. But the music does contribute to the film's overall flighty, giddy tone, reflected in the lack of emotional involvement of the characters. Further, the killing of the young boy is perfunctory and nonchalant.

The film's peculiar tone and mood I found annoying. Yet, it's probably consistent with the mindset of these two peculiar criminals, two guys, both cerebral and intelligent, completely lacking both in conscience and in a sense of moral principles.

Overall, compared to "Compulsion", "Swoon" is more direct, and perhaps a tad more thematically compelling.


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