Swing Kids

1993

Drama / Music

121
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 15,122

Synopsis


Downloaded times
August 4, 2020

Director

Cast

Christian Bale as Edward Rosier
Kenneth Branagh as Herr Knopp, Gestapo
Noah Wyle as Emil Lutz
Sean Pertwee as Gestapo Arresting Berger
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.02 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
112 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.1 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
112 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JackCerf 6 / 10 / 10

A Useful Approach

The central characters in this movie are unpolitical teenagers who have no concern with the larger political issues of Naziism and simply want to enjoy themselves. Their only perspective is that Nazis are stuffy, conformist jerks and no fun at all. For this reason, a number of mainstream critics (among them Ebert and Berardinelli) trashed the picture for trivializing the crimes and horrors of the Third Reich. These critics, I think, miss the point. The value of the movie is precisely that it is trivial. There is no hindsight. The audience, like the characters, is caught up in the everydayness of everyday life in a totalitarian state. The Nazis are the government, and as far as anyone can see in 1938-39 they are going to go on being the government forever. The war hasn't happened yet. The Swastika flag flying over every post office and courthouse doesn't give them a little shudder of horror; it's as normal as the Stars and Stripes is to us. All sensible, respectable people who aren't Nazis themselves go along with the Nazis, because they have no reason not to. Auschwitz hasn't happened yet either. Sure, there are concentration camps out there somewhere, but that has nothing to do with normal, ordinary people who behave themselves. Unless you happen to know a Jew or a political dissident yourself, what the government is doing to people like that isn't your problem. The teen-aged lead characters find themselves in opposition and in trouble, not because they have any principled objections to the government, but simply because they find respectable culture boring and want to amuse themselves. The first reaction of authority, in the person of Kenneth Branagh's kindly Gestapo man, is that all they need is a good talking to, a second chance, and a little constructive guidance in the Hitler Youth and they'll grow up to be good citizens. He's fifty percent right; Thomas does respond positively to the comradeship and healthy outdoor activity he finds there. The ultimate choices made by the two boys are governed not by principle but by their personal situations. Thomas has been rebelling against his cold, pompous, wealthy father, whom he loathes, and he ultimately decides that being a dutiful Nazi and denouncing the old man to the Gestapo offers him much better revenge than dancing to illegal jazz records. Peter recoils from the Hitler Youth (and from his former friend) because his own father had disappeared, perhaps into the camps, after the Nazis took power several years earlier. There's's no hindsight in the movie's perspective, and no heroism. Instead, it gives us ordinary, everyday people dealing with ordinary everyday life as they find it, from the viewpoint of a high school student. The movie leads the adolescents who are its target audience to ask themselves an unpleasant question -- would they be any different, any more politically aware, if they were in the same situation? Indeed, would they even realize it if they were actually in the same situation now? The implicit answer is that they probably wouldn't be all that different from ordinary non-political German teenagers in 1938, minding their own business, going about their own lives, and at most trying to carve a little more personal space than the government wants to give them. That's disconcerting and not at all flattering, which is why Swing Kids is worth watching.

Reviewed by silvergirl606 10 / 10 / 10

Good moments, could have been better

I really don't understand a lot of these reviewers. The movie far from trivializes anything about the Nazis, it simply tries to portray a moment before the bloodiest war in history on a smallish scale. Would it be better to just have a movie that says "Nazis are bad and they killed six million Jews."? No, because that wouldn't be a movie. It's like when people complained that a mini-series about Hitler's life that was supposed to be shown on TV would "humanize Hitler". Well, news flash, he WAS a human. That's the worst part, a human could do that sort of thing. What good is it to call evil-doers monsters and then leave it at that? When "Swing Kids" succeeds is when it's portraying the conflicts of youth as their country goes mad. Can anyone honestly say they feel NO sympathy for those who were forced to join the Hitler youth? It's easy to say you would have done different. And the idea that the music being key somehow trivializes the events of WWII, um, it's based on an ACTUAL subculture, swing kids. There were lots of them and at first they were fairly lacking in politics, but later in the 40s when they were cracked down on more so by the Nazis some were more active. It's not like the movie makers pulled the concept of kids, Nazis and swing out of their asses, which is what people seem to think. And at least it was something, at least it wasn't giving in totally. Remember these were young kids, high-school age, nobody can expect them all to be Sophie Scholl. Where "Swing Kids" lacks is its occasional excessive heavy-handedness. The ending is a bit excessive, something more subtle would have been better. But as I say, the conflicts between the three main leads are fantastic and bring up questions of what you would do in such circumstances. I think the boys's indifference in respect to the Jew being beat up in the beginning of the movie is a good touch. This is NOT about the holocaust, because it was just starting and was largely unknown at the time. I hate when people can't lose what they know to watch a movie. I recommend everyone to read some swing kids history, just look them up, it makes the movie much better and more interesting to know the facts. This is a fairly good movie with very good acting, great great music and costumes, a great story that was influenced by deeply interesting history, and too much heavy handedness. But seriously, who can resist a movie put out by Disney that includes the line of dialog "You're turning into a f*cking Nazi!"?

Reviewed by nbj 10 / 10 / 10

Excellent portrayal of swing and moral struggle

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.

Read more IMDb reviews

0 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment