Nine Swingin’ Lobby Cards

Actress Plays a Writer in ‘The Swinger’
The New York Times, December 15, 1966

I STARTED to say “The Swinger,” with Ann-Margret, has a good idea, but, on thinking it over for 30 seconds. I can’t even give it that.

This blazingly gaudy color picture, which opened in neighborhood theaters yesterday, is evidently meant to be a put-down of the lurid sex magazines that lead you to believe that the orgy is a way of life in the United States. But in trying to kid this subject in a snappy, sophisticated way, it is even more gooky and tasteless than what it is trying to kid.

It has flashy Ann-Margret as a wholesome young author from the sticks who has been unsuccessful in peddling her stories to Girl-Lure Magazine. (Why she should want to crash that rag is never clearly explained.) So she suddenly conceives the brilliant idea of posing as a wild voluptuary—a swinger, to use the current lingo—and then writing true confessionals about herself.

Needless to say, this simply shatters the people at Girl-Lure Magazine — Robert Cootes, its lecherous, popeyed, nitwit publisher, and Tony Franciosa, its swinging editor—and this, of course, leads to complications that hardly need be explained.

George Sidney, the producer-director, has tried to disguise this trash with a lot of splashy production and mechanical trick-camera work. But he can’t conceal cheapness and a lack of talent.

Sample of the wit: the chief of the vice squad is Sergeant Hooker.

So that is what swinging is!


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