Swingers (1996 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Doug Liman|
|Produced by||Victor Simpkins
|Written by||Jon Favreau|
Patrick Van Horn
|Music by||Don George
|Editing by||Stephen Mirrione|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films (USA)
|Release dates||October 18, 1996|
|Running time||96 minutes|
Swingers is a 1996 comedy-drama film about the lives of single, unemployed actors living on the 'eastside' of Hollywood, California during the 1990s swing revival. Written by Jon Favreau and directed by Doug Liman, the movie starred Favreau and Vince Vaughn, and also featured performances by Ron Livingston and Heather Graham.
Mike (Jon Favreau), a recent transplant to Los Angeles, has broken up with his long-time girlfriend of six years and is still having trouble letting go and moving on. His friend Trent (Vince Vaughn) takes him on an overnight trip to Las Vegas in an attempt to get him back in the game. Trent picks up a cocktail waitress (Deena Martin) and her actress friend (Katherine Kendall), but Mike's obsession with his ex-girlfriend spoils the one-night stand.
Back in Los Angeles, Mike attends various Hollywood and Los Feliz hot spots, including The Derby, The Dresden Room and the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop, while his friends, Rob (Ron Livingston), Charles (Alex Desert) and Sue (Patrick Van Horn) coach him on the rules of seduction. Mike makes several awkward attempts at speaking to women, but they all end disastrously. Along the way, the group discusses movies, video games, and their floundering careers in show business.
When Mike learns to accept himself and eschew the pretenses and self-promotion involved in the Hollywood dating scene, he finally connects with a beautiful girl named Lorraine (Heather Graham). The next day, he gets a call from the ex-girlfriend he's been obsessed with but rejects her offer to get back together when Lorraine rings in on the other line. While discussing Mike's new situation at a diner, Trent interrupts to make a disastrous attempt at flirting with a woman nearby. As Trent tries to recover from the embarrassment, Mike smiles as the tables turn.
- Jon Favreau as Mike Peters, a struggling comedian from New York, Mike recently broke up with his longtime girlfriend. Still pining over his loss, and unfamiliar with the dating game, Mike has difficulty meeting new women.
- Vince Vaughn as Trent Walker, an aspiring actor, Trent is Mike's closest friend. Trent is also a loud, charismatic, and occasionally obnoxious swinger. He makes it his personal mission to teach Mike the swinging lifestyle.
- Ron Livingston as Rob, Mike's friend from New York, Rob is a recent arrival to Los Angeles and even less knowledgeable about the swinging scene, but he is not fresh out of a relationship and has a much more optimistic view of life. He provides a sympathetic ear to Mike and considers taking a job at Disneyland to pay the rent.
- Patrick Van Horn as Sue, a hot-headed swinger; Sue discusses the finer points of seduction with Trent, but is somewhat less sympathetic to Mike's problems. Mike later tells Rob that he is named after the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue."
- Alex Désert as Charles, a swinging acquaintance of the group and another struggling actor. Charles accompanies the group while bar-hopping around Hollywood, proclaiming each place "dead" as they leave.
- Heather Graham as Lorraine, a woman that Mike meets at a bar, Lorraine has a good sense of humor and is not overly concerned about the rules of dating. She's also new to the LA scene, having left a relationship behind in Wisconsin.
- Deena Martin as Christy
- Katherine Kendall as Lisa
- Brooke Langton as Nikki
Favreau wrote the screenplay to Swingers in two weeks, with various friends in mind for key roles. One scene, in which Trent yells at Sue for insulting Mike, was written at Vaughn's request to make it clear that beneath Trent's swagger, he truly cared for Mike as a friend. Favreau and his friends gave reader's theater performances of the script to drum up interest in and capital for the movie.
Swingers was filmed on location at several Los Angeles nightclubs, particularly in the hip Los Feliz neighborhood, including the Dresden Lounge and the Derby. The Las Vegas scenes were filmed primarily in two locations, with the exterior casino shots taking place at the Stardust Resort & Casino and all the subsequent interior shots being filmed at the Fremont Hotel and Casino, farther north in downtown Las Vegas.
In addition to casting their friends in key roles, Favreau and Vaughn gave cameo roles to their family members. Vince Vaughn's father, Vernon Vaughn, plays the lucky gambler at the $100-minimum blackjack table, while Favreau's grandmother, Joan Favreau, is the lucky gambler at the $5-minimum blackjack table.
- Filming locations
- Mikey's apartment is located in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, a few miles from the Dresden Room.
- The Dresden room is a popular (classic) bar and club in the Los Feliz neighborhood, located at 1760 N. Vermont Ave. Marty & Elayne, who are performing in the Dresden scene in the movie, perform at the Dresden in real life several nights a week.
- The cafe where various factions of the crew meet and eat was the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop (now renamed under new ownership as the 101 Cafe) and is part of the Best Western Hotel on Franklin Avenue near Hollywood, and near the 101 freeway.
- The bar where the characters dance is The Derby in Los Feliz, on the corner of Hillhurst and Los Feliz Blvd. In January 2009, the nightclub closed its doors.
Swingers was a critical and financial success. It holds a 87% "Fresh" rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 52 reviews. The critical consensus states " Funny, heartfelt, and effortlessly cool, Swingers made stars out of Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, established Doug Liman as a director to watch."  The film had a total budget of about $250,000 and a domestic theatrical gross of $4,555,020. It served as a breakthrough for Vince Vaughn, who gained public exposure and critical acclaim for his performance in the film. In particular, he caught the eye of Steven Spielberg when a copy of the film was sent to the director so they could clear the rights for the Jaws music. Spielberg later cast Vaughn in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Director Doug Liman also used the film to help launch a successful career in Hollywood (he would later be known for The Bourne Identity), and it was the first major film for Ron Livingston.
The release of the film coincided with the swing revival of the 1990s. It increased interest in 1940s culture, Hollywood nightlife, and swing music. Some of the slang used in the movie became popular in the years following its release, especially the use of the word "money" as a catch-all term of approval or quality. The exclamation "Vegas, baby!" also became a common quote when referencing the city. The film also gave exposure to the term "Wingman" in its social interaction context.
The film was voted as the 14th best film set in Los Angeles in the last 25 years by a group of Los Angeles Times writers and editors with two criteria: "The movie had to communicate some inherent truth about the L.A. experience, and only one film per director was allowed on the list".
American Film Institute recognition:
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
|Swingers Original Soundtrack|
Swingers Original Soundtrack
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||October 15, 1996|
There are two collections from the film; the first soundtrack, Swingers: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture, was released in 1996 and contained music included in the film. The second, Swingers Too!: More Music From... "Swingers", was released in 1999 and contained "Magic Man" by Heart and a studio version of "Staying Alive" by lounge act Marty and Elayne, with other tracks inspired by the film.
- Swingers - Music From The Miramax Motion Picture
- "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You" - Dean Martin 
- "Paid For Loving" - Love Jones 
- "With Plenty of Money and You" - Count Basie/Tony Bennett 
- "You & Me & The Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)" - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy 
- "Knock Me a Kiss" - Louis Jordan 
- "Wake Up" - The Jazz Jury 
- "Groove Me" - King Floyd 
- "I Wan'na Be Like You" - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy 
- "Mucci's Jag M.K. II" - Joey Altruda 
- "King of the Road" - Roger Miller 
- "Pictures" - The Jazz Jury 
- "She Thinks I Still Care" - George Jones 
- "Car Train" - The Jazz Jury 
- "Pick Up the Pieces" - Average White Band 
- "Go Daddy-O" - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy 
- "I'm Beginning to See the Light" - Bobby Darin 
- Swingers Too! - More Music From... "Swingers"
- "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" - (Dean Martin) 
- "Adam and Eve" - Paul Anka
- "Magic Man" - Heart 
- "She's A Woman (W-O-M-A-N)" - (Sammy Davis, Jr.) with (Count Basie)
- "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)" - (Dinah Washington)/(Brook Benton) 
- "Down For Double" - (Mel Tormé)
- "Staying Alive" - (Marty & Elayne)
- "There'll Be Some Changes Made" - (Ann-Margret)
- "One Mint Julep" - (Xavier Cugat) 
- "Gimme That Wine" - Lambert, Hendricks & Ross 
- "Datin' With No Dough" - (Royal Crown Revue)
- "Bring Me Sunshine" - (Willie Nelson) 
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Swingers (1996 film)|
- Official website
- Swingers at the Internet Movie Database
- Swingers at allmovie
- Swingers at Box Office Mojo
- Swingers at Rotten Tomatoes