***/**** Image A Sound A- Extras A-
starring Jo Johnston, Rainbeaux Smith, Colleen Camp, Rosanne Katon
written by Jane Witherspoon & Betty Conklin
directed by Jack Hill
by Bryant Frazer At some point during the free-for-all brawl that climaxes The Swinging Cheerleaders, I remember thinking to myself, "This has got to be one of the most American movies ever made." I was reacting in part to the iconography--cheerleaders fighting policeman fighting college footballers, almost in the manner of a silent comedy, as Scott Joplin plays on the soundtrack--but also to the mood of the film, in which converging themes of corruption and cynicism lead to an eruption of chaotic, comic violence, and open-hearted jocks make way for joyous optimism to prevail.