The story of a close-knit group of young kids in Nazi Germany who listen to banned swing music from the US…
Release Year: 1993
Rating: 6.4/10 (8,622 voted)
Critic's Score: 39/100
Stars: Robert Sean Leonard, Christian Bale, Frank Whaley
The story of a close-knit group of young kids in Nazi Germany who listen to banned swing music from the US. Soon dancing and fun leads 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.
Robert Sean Leonard
(as Jessica Stevenson)
Mama Klara Müller
(as Mary Fogerty)
In a world on the brink of war. You either march to one tune or dance to another.
Release Date: 5 March 1993
Filming Locations: Prague, Czech Republic
Did You Know?
On location in Prague in near freezing weather, Christian Bale was visited by Steven Spielberg (director of his feature film debut
Empire of the Sun).
In an establishing shot just after the Nazis steal the radio, the rear half of a Vauxhall Wyvern can be seen parked on the street; this car was not introduced until 1948.
I know who my friends are. I'm not alone.
entertaining and poignant, a great film
I'm a History teacher and we use Swing Kids as an introduction to the
topic of alternative youth groups in Nazi Germany. I'm not saying that
the film is 100% accurate, obviously some dramatic licence has to be
taken, but its not far off. Many people on this site have questioned
the accuracy, and validity of the film, especially mentioning the lack
of consideration of the treatment of the Jews. However that is not what
this film is about (if that is what you want see The Pianist or
Schindler's List – also excellent films).
This film is looking at how some German youths avoided the Hitler Youth
and the nazi regime insofar as they could, and what they spent their
time doing (dancing, listening to swing music and being with their
friends).It does show some useful aspects about how the Hitler Youth
were expected to behave and the propaganda they were exposed to, as
well as about swing youth and their attitude to the regime.It is an
entertaining and poignant film which explores friendship,romance and
growing up against the backdrop of one of the most vilified periods in
Basically Swing Kids does what it does well. Maybe it isn't a
Schindler's List, but it does have its merits.Watch it and you'll find
BTW – could I just point out, many people on here have referred to the
Holocaust, as though it is interchangeable with the Nazi regime, and
have used the phrase in their reviews. Just to clear up this: the
holocaust specifically refers to the gassing of Jews at extermination
camps from 1942 onwards, essentially the Final Solution. As this film
is set in 1939 it is prior to this.