Swoon (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Swoon (1991)

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Movie Info

Tom Kalin directed this cool and aloof black-and-white study of the infamous Leopold and Loeb case, a case told before in two previous films -- Rope and Compulsion. In 1924, in Chicago, Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Loeb, two 18-year-olds, kidnapped and murdered the 13-year-old Bobby Franks, immediately killing him and then stuffing his naked body up a culvert. The motive for the crime was simply that they wanted to prove to themselves that they were smart enough to get away with it. The previous film versions downplayed Leopold and Loeb's homosexuality, but Kalin's version plays it up into a psychosexual motif. Loeb (Daniel Schlachet) is the calculating intellectual, while Leopold (Craig Chester), the amateur ornithologist, is the emotional and weak one. In love with Loeb, Leopold is willing to do anything for him, and when Leob uses the withholding of sex as a prompt, Leopold is even willing to commit murder to have his sexual desires satisfied by Loeb.
  • Rating:
    R
  • Genre:
  • Directed By:
  • Written By:
  • In Theaters:
     wide
  • On DVD:
  • Runtime:
  • Studio:
    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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Cast

Daniel Schlachet
as Richard Loeb
Craig Chester
as Nathan Leopold Jr.
Michael Kirby
as Detective Savage
Michael Stumm
as Doctor Bowman
Valda Z. Drabla
as Germaine Reinhardt
Natalie Stanford
as Susan Lurie
Isabela Araujo
as Venus in Furs Diva
Jill Buchanan
as Venus in Furs Diva
Mona Foot
as Venus in Furs Diva
Trash
as Venus in Furs Diva
Trasharama
as Venus in Furs Diva
Nashom Wooden
as Venus in Furs Diva
James Lyons
as Prison Mugshot
Peter Bowen
as Industrial Area Workman
Christopher Hoover
as Elektra Luxe
Paul Connor
as Bobby Franks
Brent Charleton
as Irving Hartman
Christopher Cangelosi
as Little Boy in Park
Dick Callaghan
as Country Workman
Craig Paull
as Country Workman
Carlos Rodríguez
as Country Workman
Emmitt Thrower
as Country Workman
Eric J. Wiggins III
as Country Workman
Ken Howarth
as Sven Englund
Barry Liebowitz
as Mr. Franks
Judith Boxley
as Mrs. Franks
Julian Marynczak
as Workman in Marsh
Daniel Haughey
as Ornithologist
John Rowan
as Man with Newspaper
Stanley Taub
as Mr. Loeb
Robert Austin
as Allan Loeb
Barbara Bleier
as Mrs. Loeb
Ed Altman
as Mike Leopold
John A. Mudd
as Detective Sbarbaro
Robert Sullivan
as Night Desk Officer
Verne F. Hoyt
as Night Cop
James Cummings
as Interrogation Cop
Pepe Vives
as Night Detective
Malcolm A. Beers Jr.
as Nathan Leopold, Jr.
Adina Porter
as Stenographer
Robert Read
as Clarence Darrow
Paul Schmidt
as Judge Caverly
Richard Elovich
as Doctor Hulbert
Bobby Reed
as Reporter
Ray Wasik
as Mean Prison Guard
Jim Crawford
as Prison Barber
Jean Claude Monfort
as Clinic Doctor
Michael Nesline
as Clinic Doctor
Richard R. Upton
as Clinic Doctor
William Walters
as Clinic Doctor
Richard Schechner
as Radio Announcer
Glenn Backes
as James Day
Paul Joshua Rubin
as Father Weir
Philip Stanton
as Gene Lovitz
Dean C. Blanco
as Courtroom Extra
Catarina Borelli
as Courtroom Extra
Barry Cassidy
as Courtroom Extra
David Cheever
as Courtroom Extra
James Crafford
as Courtroom Extra
Steven Flum
as Courtroom Extra
Lou Galiardo
as Courtroom Extra
Carl M. George
as Courtroom Extra
Debra Goodman
as Courtroom Extra
Joseph Harding
as Courtroom Extra
Anna Kohler
as Courtroom Extra
Heidi Kriz
as Courtroom Extra
Scott K. MacArthur
as Courtroom Extra
John McGee
as Courtroom Extra
Dana Nasrallah
as Courtroom Extra
Jerome F. Richards
as Courtroom Extra
Hobson Sturtevant
as Courtroom Extra
Elizabeth Towson
as Courtroom Extra
Oscar Aleman
as Press Conference Extra
Emanuel Baetich
as Press Conference Extra
Robert Beck
as Press Conference Extra
Mike Diaz
as Press Conference Extra
Maddy Lederman
as Press Conference Extra
Tanya Taylor
as Press Conference Extra
Gary Lamadore
as Interrogation Cop
Michael Becker
as Phrenology Head
Zoe Bissell
as Phrenology Head
Gregg Bordowitz
as Phrenology Head
Patricia Fabricant
as Phrenology Head
Todd Haynes
as Phrenology Head
Andrea Kislan
as Phrenology Head
Pamela Koffler
as Phrenology Head
Nina Port
as Phrenology Head
Emily Sherman
as Phrenology Head
Lauren Zalaznick
as Phrenology Head
Robert Funes
as Prisoner
Timothy McCoy
as Prisoner
Owen H. Ranft
as Prisoner
Elion Sacker
as Prisoner
Alex Vean
as Prisoner
Addison Cook
as Prison Guard
Leland Douglas
as Prison Guard
John Ventimiglia
as Prison Guard
Douglas Crimp
as Prison Mugshot
Phelim Dolan
as Prison Mugshot
Jim Lyons
as Prison Mugshot
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Critic Reviews for Swoon

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

An exotic mood piece, based on the infamous Leopold-Loeb case, that probably didn't win director Tom Kalin many friends in the gay community.

Full Review… | April 9, 2007
eFilmCritic.com

As a dark, moody and stylized (the film is shot in b/w) poem of love and madness Swoon is effective, but as social polemic on contemporary gay issues, it's strained; even so, it's a striking feature debut.

Full Review… | December 1, 2006
EmanuelLevy.Com

Faux artsy take on the Leopold-Loeb case.

October 19, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Moody, dispassionate take on the savagery of crime that neither illuminates nor captivates.

November 28, 2002
Mixed Reviews

Audience Reviews for Swoon

½

The case has been made into two previous movies - Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope" (1948) and Richard Fleisher's "Compulsion" (1959), but both to one degree or another played down the topic of homosexuality. This new version by writer-director Tom Kalin plays it up, sometimes in ways that are fairly disturbing, as when he seems to linger on the ways the dominant Loeb was able to control the more submissive Leopold by using sex as a weapon.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

very interesting take on new queer cinema that emerged during the early 90's... for a movie from 1992, it really holds a good sense of detail and intrigue

Christopher Knarr
Christopher Knarr

An indie classic.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

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