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The Seventies were sexy and sleazy. At the epicenter of it all was Plato's Retreat, the controversial, first-ever swingers club. In New York's conservative Upper West Side, Plato's embraced adventurous couples who came to dance, to swim, and... to swap. It was the start of a revolution. The brainchild of Larry Levenson, the self-proclaimed King of Swing, Plato's Retreat quickly emerged as the mainstay of public sex for the me generation, welcoming anyone and everyone. For only $35, couples checked their judgments and pedigrees at the door; debutantes got it on next to bus drivers, as movie stars gave secretaries the starlet treatment. For Levenson and others, Plato s was a utopia. However, this wild party did not last. American Swing brings this enigmatic epic of excess to the screen for the first time.
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Top Customer Reviews
The movie is great at portraying that same thing I think. Even if people still shun this life choice, gay marriage, women's rites, interracial couples, you know, all the narrow minded people out there. Don't watch this movie is you don't like nudity and honesty, there is too much of both here.
The only thing I didn't like was the background music that the filmmakers have playing under much of the dialog. In most cases it's too loud and a bit distracting.
Plato's Retreat was a club ahead of its time and yet also behind the times caught in the swirling decade of the 1970's and early 1980's. Billed as a club for adult couples to live out their fantasies and to strengthen marriages the club became the epicenter of New York's nighlife for a short period. This was the place where to locals rubbed elbows (and other body parts) with the superstars. Beset with tax issues, drugs, and prostitution the empire came crumbling down by the mid eighties.
The film presents a fond rememberance of the club by many of the club's former patrons and employees. If there is a flaw it is that the memories are all good. Nothiung really relates the problems that the club faced in its later years. The film is pieced together interviews with slightly sleazy footage shot in the club for a cable TV show. This is perhaps exactly as it should be.
The film features about 30 minutes of additional interview footage and is well worth watching as either a walk down memory lane or a somber reflection on a lost period of American culture.