Search - Swing Kids on DVD

Swing Kids
Swing Kids
Actors: Robert Sean Leonard, Christian Bale, Frank Whaley, Barbara Hershey, Tushka Bergen
Genres: Drama, Military & War
PG-13     2002     1hr 52min

In 1939, Nazi Germany declares war on freedom and demands conformity from its youth. But a group calling themselves Swing Kids rebel with their "swing music" from America. When two of them dare to stand up against the powe...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Robert Sean Leonard, Christian Bale, Frank Whaley, Barbara Hershey, Tushka Bergen
Genres: Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Family Life, Military & War
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/03/2002
Original Release Date: 03/05/1993
Theatrical Release Date: 03/05/1993
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Sharon F. (Shar) from AVON PARK, FL
Reviewed on 5/5/2023...
Not only was this a great movie, full of great swing music and dance, but it was also a lesson in history. I was not aware of this sect of kids that were against Hitler.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lydia Z. (grandmalydia)
Reviewed on 11/26/2022...
Great movie. Love it!
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 9/10/2013...
I give this movie 4 stars for it's cast and story. It is a film that everyone who is interested in history, especially ww2 should see. A keeper.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Linda R. from EAGAN, MN
Reviewed on 11/15/2011...
Great Movie!
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Interesting historical subject
Adi Adler | Atlanta, GA United States | 10/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie gives a new angle on Pre - WW2 German society. The title's 'Swing Kids' are German youngsters who were interested in British and American slag & fashions. Since Germany's official policy towards America & Britain wasn't very sympathetic at the time (to say the least), Swing hangouts were routinely searched for by HJ's ("Hitler Junged" - Hilter's Youths), Swing Kids were targeted by them, and Swing music was hard to find.The movie's three main characters are caught in the struggle between Swing music and the pressureto join the HJ's. Arvid, who is partially paralized, and is therefore 'unacceptable' by the Nazis, is a rabid Swing fan (which a large part of is a rebellion against the people who won't accept him). Peter is struggling with his father's 'disappearance' (he was taken by the Nazis a few years before the events of the movie). Thomas is just looking for acceptance, which he doesn't seem to get from his family or friends, so he willingly turns into a HJ - just to satisfy his need. The friends split up, turn against each other, and each goes towards his tragic end.The story in itself is predictable, but since the performances of the actors are quite good, and the period and subject matter of the films are not your obvious WW2 movies, it is a very enjoyable one (even just for knowldge's sake)."
Mckenna Faith, teacher | AL USA | 03/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I teach 11th grade and when we reach WWII I have been looking for a movie which is good enough for the kids to see that doesn't just show blood and guts. Many of the kids can't fathom why an entire nation would just follow a man bent on the destruction of another race. This movie gives them a new viewpoint, a kid's viewpoint, that they can relate to. They can understand that not everyone wanted to go along, not everyone agreed but few were capable of standing up and sticking to their beliefs. The brainwashing techniques, the pressure from peers, family and fear made it easier for Hitler to gain and maintain control of Germany. I begin WWII with a brief explanation of the conditions existing in Europe when Hitler rose to power and then show this movie. My students always enjoy the movie and come away from viewing it with a better understanding of how Hitler got into power. I highly recommend this film for teaching and/or just enjoying."
Excellent film of swing and moral struggle
Nate Jacobson | Denver, CO USA | 12/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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 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 children to 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. Shame that there are no extras on the DVD."