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Swing Kids (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music | 5 March 1993 (USA)
A close-knit group of young kids in Nazi Germany listen to banned swing music from the US. Soon dancing and fun lead to more difficult choices as the Nazis begin tightening the grip on ... See full summary »

Director:

Thomas Carter

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Sean Leonard ... Peter Müller
Christian Bale ... Thomas Berger
Frank Whaley ... Arvid
Barbara Hershey ... Frau Müller
Tushka Bergen ... Evey
David Tom ... Willi Müller
Julia Stemberger Julia Stemberger ... Frau Linge
Jayce Bartok ... Otto
Noah Wyle ... Emil Lutz
Johan Leysen ... Herr Schumler
Douglas Roberts ... Herr Hinz
Martin Clunes ... Bannführer
Jessica Hynes ... Helga (as Jessica Stevenson)
Carl Brincat Carl Brincat ... H.J. Thug
Mary Fogarty Mary Fogarty ... Mama Klara Müller (as Mary Fogerty)
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Storyline

A close-knit group of young kids in Nazi Germany listen to banned swing music from the US. Soon dancing and fun lead 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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 March 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Os Últimos Rebeldes See more »

Filming Locations:

Prague, Czech Republic

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,632,086
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is one of two 1993 films to star both Robert Sean Leonard (Peter Müller) and Kenneth Branagh (Herr Knopp). The other is Much Ado About Nothing (1993). 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: I would rather belong to any one... ANYONE, than belong to the Nazis like you do.
Thomas Berger: That's because you have everything backwards. Nazis go anywhere they want, do anything they want, everyone gets out of our way.
Arvid: Quiz time. Got your glasses on.
Thomas Berger: What?
Arvid: It means you don't know who your friends are.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

ZUM VOLKSFEST
Written by P. Larare
Courtesy of Southern Music Publishing Co. Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent portrayal of swing and moral struggle
24 December 2003 | by nbjSee 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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