The idea for this page comes from an exchange of emails
on the mailing list about the latest David Lynch movie, Mulholland Drive,
where Paula first spotted the opening credits with a Lindy Hop 40 seconds.
Shoreditch, Dec 03
Low-budget British murder mystery which switches between a jazz club in
1939 London and the present day. Not as bad as some reviewers would have
you believe (eg "Busy Malone meets Pop Idol"), with good performances
from Natasha Wightman as Shane Ritchie's wronged wife and John Standing
as a creepy, drug-addled man- from- the Home Office (nothing changes).
Of interest to Swingbunch folk is the lovely thirties soundtrack, featuring,
among the authentic tunes, Elton John (!) singing Ain't Misbehavin' and
Makin' Whoopee and gorgeous Jacqueline Dankworth showing Joely Richardson
how it should be done. Fans of the bizarre will also be thrilled to see
Ms Richardson give the worst performance of her career while fun can be
had spotting familiar faces in the background - members of the Sugar Ray
Ford Orchestra steal the show. Don't worry if you don't catch it on the
big screen- this one'll go straight to video...
Belleville Rendez-Vous, Sept 03
Lovely sad cartoon, not for kids, a story of a grandma and her orphan
nephew, who is a cyclist training for the tour de france, kidnapped by
the mafia and taken to the megalopolis of Belleville. The opening sequence
is a vintage charleston/swing/tap number, lovely tune, with a trio of
singers and even Josephine Baker doing her dance. Very cute!
From David, Sept 03
"As most of your swing spotting has featured relatively new films,
I thought I'd mention
a few oldies that occassionally get shown on TV:
Summer Stock (1950)
A good-natured "let's put the show on right here" vehicle for
Gene Kelly & Judy Garland featuring a show-stopping barn-dance sequence.
Actually, although set in a barn, the dancers are lindy hoppers (including
one or two from "Groovy Movie" if I'm not mistaken). They get
a limited time to strut their stuff before Gene & Judy take over.
The film is also worth checking out for the very camp "Get Happy"
sequence in which Judy is joined by a bunch of waiters. Apparently, this
scene was shot about one month after completion of principal filming.
Judy lost about twenty pounds (!) in that time, and many who watched the
film thought that the number had been taken from some earlier movie.It
certainly looks out of place, but if you've ever wondered how best to
wear a tuxedo (team it with a pair of tights and a fedora), then you should
certainly check this one out.Fred & Ginger Lindy Hopping? Well, maybe
not together, but...
Let's Dance (1950)
Probably not worth your time, except for the opening sequence. This features
a completely bonkers Betty Hutton doing a fine Tick-Tock while singing
in front of an audience of American servicemen. She then drags accompanist
Fred Astaire from his piano and they begin some tap dancing before launching
into a very cool Lindy routine.
Batchelor Mother (1939)
Screwball comedy starring Ginger Rogers & David Niven.
Although not a musical, it does include Ginger & partner (not Niven)
in a Lindy-style
dance contest. Watch out for some fine pecking and, in the background,
one or two manic
attempts at the Shag. The script is pretty sharp as well...
Finding Nemo, September 03
What an amazing movie, for scuba divers and any one else! The underwater
world brought to life in pictures by the geniuses of Pixar (see below).
They must love swing as the closing tune is 'Somewhere beyond the sea'
unfortunately in Robbie William's version. A move not to be missed!
Three to Tango, on TV 4/08/03
Not a great movie, a comedy with Matthew Perry and Neve Campbell, almost
the entire soundtrack was swinging, with a final video with lindy hop
on the closing credits! tunes from Indigo Swing, Cherry Poppin Daddies.
The Cat In the Hat Trailers, 2003
Check out the soundtrack:
Elvis' Video, 2002
"well i saw a couple that looked vv familiar on MTV, on the video
of the rereleased Elvis song a little less conversation(a top tune). everyone
is in these little boxes doing their thing, and in one box there are a
couple doing very exact and quite dull lindy hopping! oops, sorry if that
has offended anyone... best not leave my name "
Towers of Terros (97)
A 'children horror' with Steve Guttemberg and a young Kirsten Dunst. I
only caught the end bit but apparently was set in 40s Hollywood and it
did have a bit of ballroom swing dancing and some numbers (including Sing
DARIA - Life in the Past Lane
For anyone whose never seen the excellent animated series Daria it's worth
a look, C5 Sunday's around 12:30, it's one of those cartoons that are
far to good for children so no idea why they put it on so early.
Yesterday's episode ' Life in the Past Lane' is the one to check out for
swing music, an aerials dance sequence and 40's 50's clothing, and for
any American car spotters like myself you can gasp at the animators attention
The Man Who Wasn't There
The excellent Cohin Brother's 'movie which I have just bought on VHS and
is destined (I think) to become a cult classic. It has a very short scene
featuring Lindy Hop in which Billy Bob Thornton's character Ed Craine
attends a christmas party at the department store where his wife works.
Apart from the short lived burst of Lindy it's well worth a look just
for the 'feel' of 1940's America, and shot in Black and White with loads
of atmos. Check it out if you can, it's probably gathering dust in a Blockbuster
near you. Posh Anna
I was on a BA flight coming back from Miami and lost sleep on a jitterbug
movie! Totally unexpected romantic comedy with Jim Carey called the Majestic,
is very colourful and plenty of nice tunes there for listening and dancing.
It's set in 1951 california in the post war anti-communism era. Quite
enjoably and very exciting for the bits of lindy hop...
Is coming out in the UK on May 24th - check the site
Mithila Shafiq wrote: swing is in the ads ...
have noticed this ad on telly recently for a "available at tesco's"
CD called "Blues and Soul masters" ... not really swing but
Otis Reading/Etta James/John Lee Hooker sort of material ... but the dance
clips on the ad are all classic swing including the one of the silhouette
of a couple of dancers and a jazz band and several classic lindy from
the old movies ... can anyone who's seen the ad name the clips? (ie where
they're from coz i'm sure i've seen them amongst Julies and Andrews collections)
was also watching channel 5 on saturday (yes, shock horror!) and saw this
ad for self tan lotion from a company called "PIZ BUIN" ...
only on channel five ...... but the tune used was our all time favourite
Squirel Nut Zippers number "Put a Lid On It" ... ie the "oooh
ahhh" charleston stroll number ... you should have seen me trying
to explain to my aunt whose house i was at at
the time why i got so excited over a self tan lotion ad!!! ;-)
Great movie, guys, seriously recommended if you like animations! Pixar
has once again outdone themselves in this funny, moving and very creative
At the beginning there is a short movie which is lovely and has a
totally swing classic,
Then its the movie and there are so many swing tunes in the soundtrack!
click on the banner and visit the site and...listen to the streaming swing!
Fede is watching (Feb 6th):
Cool Hand Luke with Paul Newman - inmates in a 40s prison somewhere in
the states (not very interesting movie i admit!) are listening to some
swing music and play 'instruments' to it (shackles, spoons and the likes)
and a couple of them is even dancing!
Dr Mithi tells us:
'i've got a bit of "swing-ER spotting" for you. I first
saw "swing kids" YEARS ago as a non dancer - thought the dance
sequences were cool ...but didn't think any more of it after. I then saw
it again after i started dancing and guess who I spotted amongst the dance
crowd in the movie? - our very own Julie Oram!!!* I was well impressed
- she's quite easy to spot - skinny blond one, but with longer hair AND
A PERM! I told Julie about this
and her response was "oh no! MY BAD-PERM-DAYS!" hehehe ... A
couple of other things that (obviously) have swing dancing in them is
the Lisa stansfield movie "Swing" and a drama they showed on
telly last year starring Judy Dench called "the last of the blond
bombshells". The thing is both these films are british-made so most
of the dancers on them are our usual London swing and jive crowd. Its
a lot of fun spotting people you know
from 100club, C-jam and Jitterbugs in both these films.'
*I knew this! 'cause that movie was the reason i started dancing
'On a recent episode of the Simpsons (on Sky I think) shown at Christmas,
Homer was thrown into a panda's cage with another panda who the Zookeeper
said would now perform the lindy hop! The panda did the charleston and
some spins - unfortunately I cant remember what happened after that because
it was late on Christmas day and things were getting a bit blurry.'
Lately, as reported on their web site, Robert and Claire
from Swingtastic have been filming Sophie Ellis Bextor video 'Murder on
On major sites there are references to movies, old and
recent, where great dancers have appeared, from A day at the Races to
Malcom X. This is really just for fun, TV ads, videos, movies, and such.
Keep swing spotting! and let
us know what you have seen...