Saturday, November 11, 2017

Swing Kids (1993)

Director: Thomas Carter

Writer: Jonathan Marc Feldman

Composer: James Horner

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Robert Sean Leonard, Christian Bale, Frank Whaley, Barbara Hershey, Tushka Bergen, David Tom, Julia Stemberger, Jayce Bartok, Noah Wyle, Johan Leysen, Douglas Roberts, Martin Clunes, Jessica Hynes, Jeremy Bulloch, Sean Pertwee

More info: IMDb

Tagline: In a world on the brink of war. You either march to one tune or dance to another.

Plot: 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.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

I've now seen this twice in the past 20+ years and I think for the last time.  The best part about it is the great period music re-recorded for the film and it sounds fantastic in stereo.  What stuck with me the first time (and this time) is the cheesy ass sentimental yet tragic ending with the little kid, Willy, chasing after the truck yelling, "Swing heil!"  OMG it's so bad.  I'm sure most people find it touching and fitting but I can't help but roll my eyes.  It feels manipulative.  But I do dig parts of the movie and I like the cast.  The picture does ask that you know the basics of Nazi German regarding the Nazis' motives and how far their hatred went, etc.  Add swing music to that list.  I'd never considered the Nazis hating swing music.  I didn't think it was possible to hate them any more and this comes along.  Bastards!  It's not a home run but it's good enough to watch even if the emotions are forced.  I would've dug it more if that had been handled more subtly.  The Hollywood DVD presents the film in anamorphic widescreen with no extras.

No comments:

Post a Comment