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Lifestyle: Swinging in America [VHS] (1999)

Dant'e Amore , Wild Bill Goodwin , David Schisgall  |  NR |  VHS Tape
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dant'e Amore, Wild Bill Goodwin, Robert L. McGinley
  • Directors: David Schisgall
  • Producers: Peter Hawkins, Dan Cogan, James Schamus, Mary Jane Skalski, Serena Savage
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • VHS Release Date: March 13, 2001
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059HDP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #474,848 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


It's Saturday night in suburbia; do you know where your neighbors are? This eye-opening, pruriently fascinating documentary explores the "swinger" subculture--and we don't mean big band music. These are middle-class, middle-aged couples who like nothing more than meeting at someone's house, swapping spouses, and getting jiggly with it, if that's your idea of a good time, and for an estimated 3 million Americans, it is. From California to Colorado to Louisiana, The Lifestyle filmmakers interview swingers, attend a swingers convention, and even get some "Martha Stewart tips for a swinging house party" (pizza and karaoke are recommended, and two bathrooms are considered a must). The conversation is graphic, and except for one brief scene, the hard-core footage is fleeting. Director David Schisgall is more interested in putting a human face, if you will, on those for whom swinging is just as natural as going out to dinner and a movie.

Among the film's breakout stars is 73-year-old "Wild Bill," who one minute movingly discusses his beloved wife's death from breast cancer and the next recalls a particularly close simultaneous encounter with three women. Even if the swingers in this film don't win any converts to the Lifestyle, they are at least articulate on how it has impacted their lives. Many insist that their marriages are stronger. "It's not who you have sex with," one states, "it's who you're going home with." The film is nonjudgmental, although Schisgall can't resist getting some cheap shots at his subjects' Republican leanings. "A lot of people don't understand (swinging)," one participant remarks. After watching this film, they still might not understand it. A more likely reaction is the one predicted by one couple who imagine what their unwitting parents would think if they saw this film: "This would just blow their minds." --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you are hoping to expose someone to the lifestyle April 14, 2001
By A Customer
do not show them this film. The swingers in "The Lifestyle" are the senior citizen variety. Not middle age boomers, mind you. We are talking post-retirement folks. Don't get me wrong...God bless these seniors and their active libidos. It's just that I was hoping that somewhere between the world of the tan, shaved, oiled hard-bodied early 20's performance swingers (ummm... are they all east of the Mississippi?) and this group of more relaxed, experienced swingers that this film would focus on the 30-50 year olds who make up a big chunk of swinger demographics. The folks who have kids who are growing up, or gone, and beginning to focus effort/energy on their relationships.
There was one couple in the film who were interesting on a number of different levels. You know... intelligent, attractive, thoughtful. Who end up leaving the lifestyle after it begins to have a negative affect on their marriage. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Taken as a documentary on a fraction of this burgeoning sub-culture I would give it a much higher score. The one star vote is based on the disappointment I experienced when I realized that this isn't the film that I will pop in when we are entertaining friends and we would like to see if they would like to take our relationships to a deeper level.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An O.K. documentary that misses the mark December 19, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
It is nice to see someone "attempt" to make a documentary about the "swinging lifestyle"- unfortunatly, this one misses the mark. One walks away from this film thinking that "swingers" are all 55+ yrs old and the only young people in the film almost break up.
The problem is simply that most younger, educated, attractive couples in the swinging lifestyle cannot go "public" and join in on a documentary. So what's left are people that misrepresent what's really out there. I hope one day someone can capture the excitement, diversity, variety and just plain fun that the swinging lifestyle provides. This film doesn't.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable film!!! June 10, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This documentary is not only very well made, but manages to push even the sexually liberated person's buttons by portraying for the most part swinging couples who for lack of a better term resemble most of our parents. The dichotomy between the middle class normality of these parental figures and their very liberated view of sexuality is most effective. I think if they had chosen to do a documentary using "the beautiful people" it would have been far less effective. It is a very spiritual, inimate portrayal of a a valid alternative to the marriage-divorce syndrome which is wrecking America's family life. Monogamy for life is not the only alternative any more for happy heterosexual couples. As a gay man who's sexual culture is so focused on physical beauty, it was refreshing to see normal looking people having good sex lives with other normal looking people and feeling sexy, desirable and fulfilled. Real life is neither Life With the Cleaver's nor a porn movie.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well... they tried November 22, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
The world of swinging is extremely diverse. Talk to any swinger or read the forum boards for swingers and you will learn one thing. There are many types of swingers. Some swingers never go to Swing Clubs, Lifestyle Conventions, Swing Parties, or even participate in group sex. The variety is amazing. This documentary is wonderfully done and explores an older crowd of "swing partiers." I found it very insightful on many levels but was extremely limited, and SHOULD NOT be viewed as a definitive work. Not to mention, that the 'clubs' featured were extremely outdated. The swing clubs springing up across the nation are 'nightclub' format with wonderful dance floors and DJ's... but with a much friendlier crowd.

If a viewer clearly understands that this is just a sliver of what the swinging lifestyle experience could be then it is a must see.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a peek inside February 16, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The Lifestyle is a tremendous expose on a part of American Life you may or may not know much about. . . swinging. This film takes you where you may never get to go...inside the lives of swingers.l..their homes, their clubs, and their bedrooms. I saw this in the theater and was astounded by what I saw. Not that the film has that much 'raw' footage, but more in regard to what I learned. Check it out. Wonderfully wild:)
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