Swing Shift (1984)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Director Jonathan Demme made one of his more conventional movies with Swing Shift, an examination of life on the American home front during WWII. Goldie Hawn, who also served as the film's producer, stars as Kay, a woman who takes a job on the line at a plant producing war planes after her husband goes off to fight in Europe. One of her coworkers is her best friend Hazel, played by Christine Lahti, whose performance earned an Oscar nomination and a New York Film Critics award. Kay falls in love with another coworker, Lucky (Kurt Russell), who couldn't enlist because of a weak heart. Kay's husband Jack (Ed Harris) comes home on leave and finds out that his wife has betrayed him. Lucky then decides to pursue Hazel, driving a wedge between the two best friends.
Comedy , Drama , Romance
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Goldie Hawn
as Kay Walsh
Kurt Russell
as Mike 'Lucky' Lockhart
Ed Harris
as Jack Walsh
Fred Ward
as Biscuits Toohey
Sudie Bond
as Annie
Holly Hunter
as Jeannie Sherman
Patty Maloney
as Laverne
Lisa Pelikan
as Violet Mulligan
Susan Peretz
as Edith Castle
Joey Aresco
as Johnny Bonnano
Dennis Fimple
as Rupert George
Chris Lemmon
as Lt. O'Connor
Charles Napier
as Moon Willens
Stephen Tobolowsky
as Documentary Narrator/French de Mille
Laura Hawn
as Ethel
Susan Barnes
as Skinny
Beth Henley
as Bible Pusher
Gene Borkan
as MP at Embarkation Point
Alana Stewart
as Frankie Parker
Phillip Christon
as Recruit at Egyptian
Alan Toy
as Assistant Cribman
Maggie Renzi
as 1st Interviewer
Oceana Marr
as Ladies Room Inspector
Sandy McLeod
as 2nd Interviewer
Richard K. Way
as Factory Soldier
Harold Jackson III
as Piano Player at Sorrentino's
Don Carrara
as Drunk Sailor
Todd Allen
as Cpl. Bobby Danzig
Gary Goetzman
as `Swing Shift' Bandleader
Belinda Carlisle
as Jamboree Singer
Lissette LeCorn
as Peggy at Age 3
Jessica Gaynes
as Peggy at Age 7
Deena Marie
as Paper Girl
Roger Rook
as Bellhop
Joseph Hutton
as Seaman Amtzis
Harry Northrup
as New Year's Eve Marine
David B. Carlton
as New Year's Eve Marine
Lisa Chadwick
as Vocalist at Kelly's
Eddie Smith
as Waiter at Kelly's
Eugene W. Jackson
as Bartender
Belita Moreno
as Mabel Stoddard
Roger Corman
as Mr. MacBride
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News & Interviews for Swing Shift

Critic Reviews for Swing Shift

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4)

Swing Shift tries ... to twist some consequence out of a tawdry adulterous tryst by a couple of self-centered sneaks. But the writing and acting are too flat for the challenge.

Full Review… | July 23, 2008
Top Critic

Hawn, atypically cast and supported by all-round excellent performances, proves that she can act.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There's no suspense and no big emotional payoff, but the movie is always absorbing.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Offers Miss Hawn her best role since ''Private Benjamin,'' and she is most winning.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

The conventional period romantic drama has good details of the period and some fine dramatic moments, that at least kept it from being a bomb.

Full Review… | February 27, 2016
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

At its heart lies a sweet romance, with good performances from both the leads and an Oscar nomination for supporting actress Lahti.

Full Review… | January 2, 2012
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Swing Shift


Woman takes on a job building planes during WW2 in this conventional comedy that has a few bright performances.

Cameron Fink
Cameron Fink

It's a fine movie with a great performance from Goldie Hawn and Christine Lahti. It's one of Jonathan Demme's lesser works that I have seen but it isn't a bad movie per say. Great costumes, sound design, and art direction as well.

Kyle Bailey
Kyle Bailey

Nice period feeling and an interesting premise that doesn't get a lot of attention, womens role in the workplace during WWII. They should have focused on that and left the weak love story out and would have been a better film. The other problem is that Goldie's and Russell's characters are not really people you feel much empathy for, she's spoiled and selfish and he's really rather a jerk. Christine Lahti however steals every second she's on screen and has the character you care about the most.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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