Movie Review:
~American Swing~

Kaufman & Jon

Jon Hart

Magnolia Home

Movie Rating:
Not Rated

Run Time:
81 minutes

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Staring: Jamie Gillis, Ron Jeremy, Al
Goldstein, Buck Henry, Melvin Van
Plot:  Chronicles the rise and fall of 1970s
New York City nightclub Plato's Retreat.
The 1970s was a transitional period from the Woodstock
years of the 1960s.

There was a sexual revolution that continued to grow and
became more apparent in New York City.

In 1977 Larry Levinson, a man who had very little money
himself managed to get a loan to start a heterosexual
swingers club in New York City called
Plato's Retreat.  It
was a place to socialize and meet new people. It was also a
place to dance to the disco beat. But what it was most
famous for was for it being a sex club.

Couples would come to the club to have fun and have
open sex with individuals and other couples.  No one was
forced to have sex, but sex was available if couples wanted

American Swing is a documentary featuring candid
interviews with former club goers, former employees of the
club as well as friends (now decades older) of the club
owner (Larry Levinson). You'll also see lots of real-life
footage of actual activity that was the norm in the club.

Many of the interviews were extremely candid in one sense
but also humorous recollections of their experiences at the
club. Nudity and open sex was the norm. Couples were
encouraged to be uninhibited and open.

Plato's Retreat got local and national attention from shows
such as
The Phil  Donahue Show. Larry seemed to be
enjoying the attention and was on top of the world.

Celebrities such as
Ron Jeremy,  Melvin Van Peebles and
the cast of Saturday Night Live, and several singers
(names withheld) were regulars at the club. It was unclear
on whether they were there for sex or to entertain the
crowd. lol

Plato's Retreat was a secret world brought to the public.  It
was the talk of the town. Larry's vision was to
commercialize the swingers club to the main stream public
by opening clubs in various cities throughout the country.  
Although his vision was ambitious, America was just not

By the 1980s Americans began to have different views
about sex especially with AIDS becoming a concern.  The
very sad and ridiculous decline of the Plato's Retreat and
it's owner came crashing to an end. It was the end of an

From the standpoint of watching an interesting
documentary for entertainment purposes and background
information on the club this would be a great documentary
to watch.

But if you are not open minded and couldn't care less
about swinging in the 1970s, then this may not be the film
for you.

Don't expect to be knocked off your feet with this
documentary. But what I feel this film is a wonderful look
down memory lane at a very interesting period in time that
will never be duplicated.

This film can be purchased or rented on Amazon. You can
also rented this film on Netflix or Blockbuster.

Reviewed by Natasha Brooks, Editor-in-Chief,
Bare Back Magazine

Posted July 2010
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