We gave it a B+
Compared with the two other films inspired by the famous Leopold and Loeb murder case from the 1920s, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1948) and Richard Fleischer’s Compulsion (1959), Tom Kalin’s is by far the most intriguing and accomplished. Kalin has taken the friends’ gayness and used it to explore a pathology, but not in any judgmental way. Instead, with 1920s attitudes toward homosexuality in mind, he presents their ”compact to kill” a small boy. Shot in expressive black and white and employing suitably cool and ironic stylistic techniques to distance the viewer emotionally, Swoon is a beautiful, and sometimes startlingly erotic, film.