.

Swoon

Craig Chester

Directed by Tom Kalin
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
September 11, 1992

If you want to see a movie that really nails the pathology of bigotry, try writer-director Tom Kalin's revisionist look at the 1924 Chicago trial of Leopold and Loeb — two gay, Jewish, eighteen-year-old intellectuals convicted of the "thrill killing" of thirteen-year-old Bobby Franks.

Kalin is not arguing the innocence of Nathan Leopold (Craig Chester) or Richard Loeb (Daniel Schlachet). His point is that contrary to the popular belief at the time, their homosexuality did not make them do it. Attorney Clarence Darrow (Robert Read) used their relationship as evidence of insanity and got them life sentences instead of the gallows.

Kalin's experiment (shot on a shoestring over fourteen days) meets the test of a great film — it lets us view the familiar in astonishing new ways. Ellen Kuras's stylized black-and-white cinematography offers one stunning image after another. The lovers' bed sweeps into the courtroom, incarnating the public's wildest imaginings. Previous Hollywood forays into the case — Compulsion and Hitchcock's Rope — seem timid by comparison. Kalin brings a searching mind and a poet's eye to Swoon. His haunting and visionary film is a stunning debut.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com