Basically a premise for showing off some boobs (never a bad thing) a journalism student decides, against her beau’s more radical wishes, to infiltrate the cheerleading squad to first-hand understand how women are demeaned and oppressed by sports, or culture or whatever. What she finds instead is a vile betting scheme that eventually demands the key ball players throw their game! Oh no!

It’s a comedy, but much of the story seems to forget that there’s meant to be hilarity and when they switch to the farcical slap-stick activities the overarching story seems much too heavy for laughter. At one point an angry wife is threatening a young mistress with a blade and in another sequence cops are violently forcing a young footballer to quaff a quart of booze. Neither scene is particularly amusing.

The cheerleading seems rudimentary, and the football conspiracy almost childish. I suppose that with a group of lovely young women ready to take their tops off we’re not terribly interested in the loud and direct delivery of well practiced dialog. It’s nice that there’s plenty of interest in the drama of a particular black professor, his mistress, and his interest in protecting, eventually, the ethics of some sport kids. But his angry wife kind of delivers the most poignant line when she’s wielding the knife. She isn’t about to have spent her best years putting her husband through school to get him a great position so that he can go off with a younger lass. It was hardest to overcome that moment of the story-so many of us spend our youth in an endless cycle of struggle to see our relationships become unsatisfying and these issues can be tremendously painful.

I also felt for the young radical (who was too easy to lure into a fight) called Ron, the boyfriend of the pretty journalist who decided to get herself on the cheerleading squad, the meaninglessness of which he disapproved of immensely. I too have little use for sports or cheerleading, and have often wondered what the point of cheerleading was. The question was answered in this film–they are there to provide inspiration and so help the fellows win the game! I’ve often thought it pretty silly that fans make so much noise, and it occurs to me that fans probably imagine their voices have an effect, just like those folks who want to argue on Facebook without any hope of actually having any effect. In a deeper sense it is like religion, the voices of believers raised in hopes of influencing the careless universe.

Anyway, this film runs free on Prime and while I can’t say I recommend it.

3 thoughts on “The Swinging Cheerleaders (1974)

    1. It is sometimes difficult to follow the intention of the film-maker. I remember going to the movies with my grandpa as a 12 or 13 year old and seeing Fort Apache The Bronx in which, during a dramatic sequence of an unhinged cop tossing a young man off a building my grandfather burst out laughing uproariously. I remember cringing deeply in my seat as he was clearly the only member of the audience who had been tickled by the violent act. In all other ways grandpa was a normal beer drinking card playing sofa sitting grand-pop. But that day . . . :p

      Liked by 1 person

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