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Swing

Year - 2003
Studio - Swing Movie LLC
Stars - Innis Casey, Jacqueline Bisset, Constance Brenneman, Tom Skerritt, Jonathan Winters, Nell Carter
Director - Martin Guigui
Writing Credits - Mary Keil
Music - Gennaro Cannelora

Synopsis

Anthony Verdi (Innis Casey) has a dream to become a professional musician, but his father, George (Tom Skerritt) wants him to carry on with the security of the family grocery business. Anthony’s girlfriend, Valerie (Dahlia Waigort) agrees that a musical career would be impractical. But Uncle Bill (Jonathan Winters) is more supportive of Anthony. He is a former big band musician, and he is caring for his life-long friend, Mrs. DeLuca (Jacqueline Bisset in old age make-up) who danced to his music in night clubs. Shortly before she dies, she instructs Bill to give her swing records to Anthony.

One night, Anthony discovers a new night club, Jimbo’s. A 40s style big band is playing, and everyone is dressed in clothes from that period. A beautiful blonde, Christine (Jacqueline Bisset), offers to teach him to dance to swing music, and he enthusiastically agrees. The next time he returns to Jimbo’s, he asks a friend to meet him there. The next day, the friend complains that no such club existed at the address Anthony provided.

Anthony continues with his swing lessons from Christine and becomes quite accomplished at it. He becomes attracted to her, but she tells him that she won’t be returning to the club, and that he has learned all that she can teach him. She further explains that swing is just a metaphor for life, and that he should follow his dreams. After one frenetic last dance with her, he falls unconscious and awakens on the street. Jimbo’s has been replaced by an empty warehouse.

Anthony takes a closer look at the records that Mrs. De Luca had left him, and discovers one album featuring swing music performed at Jimbo’s in the 40s. A vintage photograph on the back shows Uncle Bill in the band, and Christine dancing on the night club floor.

He breaks up with Valerie, knowing that their respective plans for the future are too divergent. He is invited to perform at a local club, and the owner offers him a steady gig. His father shows up at one of his shows, and is very impressed, and proudly encourages Anthony to, indeed, pursue his musical career.

Anthony decides to practice the dancing skills he’d learned from Christine, by going to a local retro night club. He dances with Tina (Constance Brenneman), who is amazed at his abilities, as she had learned the same moves from her grandmother. That grandmother was Mrs. DeLuca.

Show Spoilers

Although this film blanc has some script weaknesses, the musical performances by the night club band, and especially by Nell Carter are outstanding.