Swing High, Swing Low

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Drama/Musical/Romance, USA, 1937, 82 min.

Synopsis Maggie King, a passenger on a cruise ship passing through the Panama Canal, flirts with Skid Johnson, a soldier on his last patrol. While ashore, Skid drives Maggie and her friend Ella into Panama City and introduces them to his roommate, Harry, a hypochondriac. When a Panamanian harasses Maggie at a nightclub, Skid picks a fight, and both he and Maggie land in jail. They appear before a judge the next morning, but Maggie's ship sails without her, so she moves in with Harry and Skid. Skid gambles away his trumpet, but Maggie poses as his wife and convinces Murphy, the owner of a café/bar, to give her five dollars to buy Skid's trumpet and to hire him to play at the club. Murphy hires both of them, and they perform successfully together, their biggest hit being a composition by Harry and Skid. After Maggie threatens to leave because Skid spent the night with Anita Alvarez, he proposes to her, and they plan to marry after the evening's performance. Harvey Howel, Maggie's suitor from California, acts as witness to the wedding. At Christmas-time, a New York agent persuades Skid to take a job in New York at the El Greco, where Anita has been performing. Skid becomes the toast of New York, and due to Anita's attentions, neglects to send funds back to Panama for Maggie's passage to New York. Maggie borrows money from Murphy and sends a telegram to Skid, but Anita intercepts it and throws it out, thus Maggie arrives in New York with no one to meet her. She calls Anita's room and Skid picks up the telephone, having fallen asleep on the couch in a drunken stupor. Broken-hearted, Maggie files for divorce, and Skid loses all interest in his career and life. Later, a newspaper clipping announces the engagement of Maggie to her former suitor, Harvey. Skid becomes a bum, but as a last ditch effort, Harry, who has married Ella and moved to New York, arranges to have Skid play on a live radio broadcast. Skid's agent Georgie convinces Maggie to show up, and despite his deteriorated state, Skid manages to pull himself together when Maggie joins him on stage to sing their old favorite.

Directed by Mitchell Leisen  

Starring Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Charles Butterworth, Jean Dixon, Dorothy Lamour, more...

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