The 1970s was a transitional period from the Woodstock years of the 1960s.
There was a sexual revolution that continued to grow and became more apparent in New York City.
In 1977 Larry Levinson, a man who had very little money himself managed to get a loan to start a heterosexual swingers club in New York City called Plato’s Retreat. It was a place to socialize and meet new people. It was also a place to dance to the disco beat. But what it was most famous for was for it being a sex club.
American Swing is a documentary featuring candid interviews with former club goers, former employees of the club as well as friends (now decades older) of the club owner (Larry Levinson). You’ll also see lots of real-life footage of actual activity that was the norm in the club.
Many of the interviews were extremely candid in one sense but also humorous recollections of their experiences at the club.
Plato’s Retreat got local and national attention from shows such as The Phil Donahue Show. Larry seemed to be enjoying the attention and was on top of the world.
Plato’s Retreat was a secret world brought to the public. It was the talk of the town and it was a popular hot spot for celebrities to visit. Larry’s vision was to commercialize the swingers club to the main stream public by opening clubs in various cities throughout the country.
Although his vision was ambitious, America was just not ready.
By the 1980s Americans began to have different views about sex especially with AIDS becoming a concern. The very sad and ridiculous decline of the Plato’s Retreat and it’s owner came crashing to an end. It was the end of an era.
From the standpoint of watching an interesting documentary for entertainment purposes and background information on the club this would be a great documentary to watch. It is definitely not a family movie, but great to watch with your significant other or adult friends who you might think might be interested in learning about this very interesting club.
Don’t expect to be knocked off your feet with this documentary. But what I feel this film is a wonderful look-down memory lane at a very interesting period in time that will never be duplicated.
This film can be purchased or rented on Amazon. You can also rent this film on Netflix or Blockbuster.