Swing Shift (film)

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Swing Shift
File:Swing shift.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Steven Chorney
Directed by Jonathan Demme
Produced by Jerry Bick
Written by Nancy Dowd
Bo Goldman
Ron Nyswaner
Music by Peter Allen
Bruce Langhorne
Patrick Williams
Cinematography Tak Fujimoto
Edited by Gib Jaffe
Craig McKay
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • April 13, 1984 (1984-04-13)
Running time
100 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $11 million
Box office $6,650,206

Swing Shift is a 1984 feature film directed by Jonathan Demme and produced by and starring Goldie Hawn with Kurt Russell. It also starred Christine Lahti, Fred Ward and Ed Harris. Lahti earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her tragic portrayal of heart-broken ex-singer and Hawn's character's close friend Hazel, losing to Peggy Ashcroft for A Passage to India. Singer Belinda Carlisle made a foray into the film, and Holly Hunter can be seen in one of her first movie roles.


During the Second World War, Kay Walsh (Goldie Hawn) is a woman who has been assigned to work in an armaments factory in California while her husband Jack (Ed Harris), a Leading Seaman, is overseas in naval service.

Lonely and vulnerable, Kay falls for the charms of another man, a musician named Lucky (Kurt Russell), and befriends her embittered neighbor Hazel (Christine Lahti), a former singer. The three of them enjoy their time together until Kay's husband comes home and realizes what has occurred.



Swing Shift has become a case study for a star/producer/director conflict. Hawn and Russell saw the film as a lighthearted vehicle while the director Demme attempted to create a more serious film. Hawn and Warner Brothers requested a recut and partial re-shooting in order to get the movie they had hired Demme to film. Demme's director's cut exists on bootleg VHS only. Both cuts run 100 minutes.

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