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USA 1979
Directed by
Jordan Leondopolis / John Shade
83 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


I haven’t seen Sam’s Song which apparently was never completed because the director John C. Broderick ran out of money. When  De Niro hit the big time with Scorsese in the '70s it was completely recut and released in 1979 as The Swap, now with Jordan Leondopolis and John Shade credited as directors. In this form it is well-worth seeking out as a truly bad movie. Not only is everything about it half-baked but inexplicably it has two different actresses (Jennifer Warren and Sybil Danning) playing the same role of Erica Moore and one (Terrayne Crawford) who looks so different in flashback as to be virtually unrecognisable.

The noirish story of The Swap which seems to differ greatly from the original version, concerns the efforts of Vito Nicoletti (Anthony Charnota) to track down the killer of his brother who was murdered whilst Vito was in prison for unknown reasons. Chinatown-like, Vito uncovers all manner of corruption in high places but this is qualitatively light years away from Polanski’s film. Not only is it technically awful but the recut leaves all manner of giant ellipses in the story.

As a straight thriller The Swap stinks but as an unintentional comedy it’s a cracker that will work a treat for a movie, beer and pizza night.




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