Swingers (1996 film)

Swingers (1996 film)

Infobox Film
name = Swingers

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Doug Liman
producer = Victor Simpkins
writer = Jon Favreau
starring = Jon Favreau
Vince Vaughn
Ron Livingston
Alex Désert
Patrick Van Horn
Heather Graham
Deena Martin
editing = Stephen Mirrione
distributor = Miramax
released = October 18, 1996
runtime = 94 min
language = English
imdb_id = 0117802
music = Don George
Johnny Hodges
Harry James
awards =
budget = $250,000

Swingers is a film released in 1996 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.

The characters in the film clearly idolize the swinging lifestyle of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack; in fact the number and makeup of the group of friends are a homage to the original group.Fact|date=September 2007

This film was rated #57 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies." The film was honored on the 2007 Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards.


Mike (Jon Favreau), a recent transplant to Los Angeles, has recently 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 and her actress friend, 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 while his swinger friends 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. The next day, he gets a call from the ex-girlfriend he's been obsessing over 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 long-term 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.

Movie references

Hollywood and show business is a significant theme in the film, and it makes many references to other movies. Trent's license plate reads "THX1138", a reference to the license plate of a hot rod in George Lucas's "American Graffiti", which was itself a reference to Lucas's previous movie, "THX 1138". The theme music to "Jaws" is used when Trent has an unpleasant conversation with a woman.

The film also emulates a number of famous sequences from popular movies. The diner scene and slow-motion credit sequence from "Reservoir Dogs" are emulated as the swingers discuss movies and then walk out to their cars to go bar-hopping. The long following shot through the side entrance of a club from "Goodfellas" is also emulated by the swingers as they enter a club through the kitchen entrance. Both movies and directors Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino are discussed by the group.

Characters in the film also make frequent references to other films. "Star Wars" is referenced when Mike tells Trent he has Jedi mind tricks. When Trent calls Mike "the guy behind the guy behind the guy," he quotes a line from "Things Change" that gets Joe Mantegna and his companion treated like a high roller at a casino.

Another film directly referenced in the movie was "Boyz in the Hood" when Sue has an exchange of words with a group of wannabe thugs and then pulls a gun on them.

The Godfather is also referenced in Swingers when Trent says "bone me a Fredo." This refers to the scene in The Godfather where Mo Green says that Fredo Corleone was "banging" cocktail waitresses two at a time.

Hockey references

Sue and Trent get carried away while playing "NHL 93" for the Sega Genesis while Sue wears a Wayne Gretzky Los Angeles Kings jersey. Many people believe that they are playing NHL 94, but in NHL 94 you could not make players head bleed which occurs to Gretzky in Swingers.


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 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 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 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.


"Swingers" was a critical and financial success. The film had a total budget of about $250,000 and a worldwide theatrical gross of $6,542,637. 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 "". Director Doug Liman also used the film to help launch a successful career in Hollywood, 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 1960s 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 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".cite news | last = Boucher | first = Geoff | coauthors = | title = The 25 best L.A. films of the last 25 years | work = Los Angeles Times | pages = | language = | publisher = | date = August 31, 2008 | url = http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/movies/la-ca-25films31-2008aug31,0,70218.htmlstory | accessdate = 2008-08-31 ]


*Mikey's apartment is located in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, just a couple blocks from the Dresden Room **FYI - I'm fairly certain that his apartment is in Hollywood on Franklin....just across from the Mayfair Market**

*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, which still hosts swing dancing nights every week.


Infobox Album |
Name = Swingers Original Soundtrack
Type = Soundtrack
Artist = Various Artists

Cover size =
Caption = Swingers Original Soundtrack
Background =
Released = October 15, 1996
Recorded =
Genre =
Length = 43:20
Label = Hollywood Records
Producer =
Reviews =
Compiled by =
Chronology =
Last album =
This album =
Next album =
Misc =
There are two collections from the motion picture. The first soundtrack was released in 1996 and contained music included in the film. The second was released in 1999 and contained Magic Man by "Heart" and a studio version of "Staying Alive" by lounge act "Marty and Elayne" as well as other tracks inspired by the film.

"Swingers: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture"

# "You're Nobody 'til 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)

External links

*imdb title|id=0117802|title=Swingers

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