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Swing Shift
Swing Shift
Actors: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Christine Lahti, Fred Ward, Ed Harris
Director: Jonathan Demme
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
PG     2004     1hr 40min

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Movie Details

Actors: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Christine Lahti, Fred Ward, Ed Harris
Director: Jonathan Demme
Creators: Alex Winitsky, Arlene Sellers, Charles Mulvehill, Jerry Bick, Bo Goldman, Nancy Dowd, Ron Nyswaner
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Military & War
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/01/2004
Original Release Date: 04/13/1984
Theatrical Release Date: 04/13/1984
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

The Unspoken Issue
Deborah Earle | USA | 10/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Swing Shift" has proven to be a marvelous nostalgia trip for those who remember the '40s, and for those self-proclaimed nostalgia buffs like myself who enjoy the music of the era.
Goldie Hawn has a childlike innocence as a housewife to Ed Harris in a working class neighborhood in 1941 California. Jack and Kay Walsh deal with Jack's having to work on Saturdays, a rather vampy neighbor at whom they make derogatory remarks when they see her going to work, and enjoy time at the roller rink.
While they are at the roller rink, the attack on Pearl Harbor is announced and their world changes. Jack enlists in the Navy and Kay decides to work as riveter, who helps to build airplanes at a local munitions plant.
She develops an antagonistic relationship with her neighbor, Hazel(Christine Lahti), the singer-turned riveter, whom she and her husband used to taunt, and an even closer relationship with a plant worker named Lucky (Kurt Russell)who repeatedly invites her out to hear him play his trumpet at club leading to gossip and speculation about their relationship among their co-workers.
During the course of the film, we see the reluctance of the women's male co-workers to accept them as equals in the workplace, and one of the male instructors gets a little too familiar with Hazel while instructing her on how to drill.
The unspoken problem in all this is the women's inability to defend themselves against sexual harrassment in the workplace at that time. In modern times, Lucky never would have been able to make the kind of advances that he made towards her in this film, at least not without Kay filing a complaint. This film suggests that such situations may have been common back then, largely because of this fact.It leads a viewer to wonder how many affairs between the female swingshifters and their male counterparts took place at that time, regardless of the marital status of either of them.
But we share the triumphs as well as the tragedies of the swing shifters; Holly Hunter, as Jeanne Sherman, receives her husband's death notice while at work, but later gives the audience a lesson in how life can go on afterwards.
Jack discovers his wife's affair when he comes home on furlough, and is heartbroken. As Kay tries to figure out how best to resolve the situation, Hazel and Lucky begin a dallience of their own after Hazel's relationship with her former boss appears to be over.
After the inevitable fight between the two women, they avoid each other at work. Lucky gets his big break as a musician, and leaves the plant, which makes it easier for Hazel and Kay to eventually make peace with each other.
I found this film--a counterpart to that other portrayal of life in World War II California, "Racing With the Moon", which was released the same year--to be a fine tribute the the women who helped win World War II--to their endurance of heartache and sacrifice, demeaning treatment, the realism of the marginalized treatment of the African American women at the plant, and the support that women in general can give each other in times of crisis. When Kay is promoted after saving a co-worker's life, we see how the men begin to respect their female co-workers for their intelligence. Interestingly, these themes were later echoed in the 1992 film, "A League of Their Own".
Sadly, these women had to give up their jobs once the men returned home from the war. But those who see this film should come to appreciate the way the women of this era paved the way for equality in the workplace."
Romantic and Touching
Deborah Earle | 07/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a wonderful WW11 story about a woman(Hawn) whos husband(Harris)signs up to be sent overseas. While her husband is away, Hawn befriends her neighbor(Lahti) and they both get swing shift jobs building planes for the war. While working, Hawn meets Russell(who is 4F) and they begin an elicit affair that blooms until Harris returns unexpectedly. Lahti gives an emotional stand out performance and Hawn and Russells offscrean romance brings believable life to their onscreen affair.This is a wonderful movie about seperation, deception, friendship and forgivness. A must see for everyone!"
Good (not great) WWII story with good performances
Michael D. Lindsey | Columbus, OH | 02/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"You may have heard how the original cut of this film was considered great until Goldie Hawn demanded re-shooting to further elevate her character's story. Regardless, it still is a fun movie to watch. Jonathan Demme re-creates a very believable 1940's Santa Monica, CA and the lives of the women who worked in the war factories. Everyone in this film delivers the goods - including Hawn, but Christine Lahti literally steals the show (despite Goldie's re-takes) as the dance hall singer turned riveter. I loved all the scenes inside the airplane factory where they work. Not only do we have Hawn, Lahti and Kurt Russell, but a great supporting cast including Holly Hunter, Ed Harris, Sudie Bond and Fred Ward."
Swing Shift
Nina Garcia | California | 08/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I love this movie it is fun loving and heart warming it is a great movie that brings back a time when every thing was simple even in war time. It makes you want to laugh and cry with the characters and it shows that women can take up the reins and be just as capable as men"