The Swinger (1966)

The Swinger (1966) is a downright horrible film by many standards, but that does not keep it from being fun and worth a watch.

First of all it is everything the more popular Elvis Presley films of the same era and genre are not…The Swinger is goofy, fun, and even sexy in a chauvinistic, dated way that only works in a film like this.

Plus The Swinger — thank god — runs under my 90-minutes-or-less ideal length criteria for films.  At 80 minutes it is too short to be painful.  There is a lot of fluff, but very little filler in The Swinger and it deserves a star for that alone.  (All films, as you know, should be under 90 minutes, with rare exceptions.)

Perhaps the most surprising find in this film is Ann-Margret.  I like her in this film.  If you don’t expect too much from Ann-Margret she’s not a bad actress and here she perfectly accomplishes that kitschy kind of cute that worked for her.

In truth, The Swinger is simply about displaying Ann-Margret while cracking some eye-rolling jokes along the way.  There are, for example, dance scenes that make no sense whatsoever other than putting Ann-Margret on screen dancing in black tights (sans underwear) and tight sweaters.  Toss in the bad jokes and a predictable story line and there you have it.  The Swinger.

While there is no  “Rosebud” in this film, nothing close, I don’t understand why some people are genuinely offended by bad films like this.  It knows it’s place and it is what it is.  And for what it is, The Swinger is an excellent example of its genre.

Tomorrow…let’s talk politics.

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