American Swing

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Released 2008

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Movie Summary

Director:
Unknown
Released:
2008
Rating:
Not Available

American Swing is a documentary movie about Plato’s Retreat, a 1970s New York City sex club. Larry Levenson started this historical club amidst the city nightlife of Studio 54 and punk rock CBGBs, inspired by the sexual openness of gay clubs. Plato’s Retreat was a place people could go to have sex freely without consequences. Although Levenson was a family man, he forgot his wife and kids at night, when he would go to his club and have sex with strangers, as they too could be comfortable coming alone or in a couple to swap partners with others. The club brought swinging to the mainstream and for merely a $35 fee; people could lose their inhibitions and engage in a sexual revolution. He had suggestive public access commercials and a collection of shady investors to help make Plato’s Retreat a success before it was shut down for not meeting city ordinances, influenced by the growing danger of AIDS.

Metacritic Score

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times

    But even a comic spin on grimace-inducing tales of the icky buffet, the "mattress room" (whatever you're imagining, that's it) and Levenson's own buffoonish image as a 10-ladies-a-...

  • 50

    Variety Dennis Harvey

    Mathew Kaufman and Jon Hart's documentary is just functionally assembled, lacking the style or larger social context that distinguished similar studies like "Inside Deep Throat."

  • 40

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    It leaves you feeling queasy.

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    Categories

    Documentary, Drama

    Themes

    Culture, Historical