Midnight Swing

it's about more than the music...

The script everyone loves

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In the big band era, two best friend musicians revel in jazz, booze and women until the quest of success awakens one's true sexuality and threatens the fate of their band and the friendship of a lifetime.


It’s another hot swinging night at the Starlight – a little joint in a small Ohio town, and everyone is there to see their favorite local swing band – TEDDY ARNOLD AND HIS BLUE BOYS.

The self-proclaimed stars of the band are two young trumpet players and best friends.  CHARLIE HATFIELD is the sensitive first-chair player struggling with having to act on his sexuality, and JACK DUPREE, is a streetwise tough kid who craves attention from the ladies. They know how to play off each other and play with the crowd -- much to the chagrin of band leader, Teddy, who is desperately trying to make them sought after professionals. 

On this fateful night, LARRY EVANS, a photographer from the hit magazine DownBeat, is on assignment to snap shots of unknown swing bands of the Midwest.  He’s cynical and amused by the youthful, show off band until Charlie steps forward for a solo and Larry’s fascination is unmasked.

Larry finds himself alone with Charlie in the men’s room and uses the prestige of his position to convince Charlie to come to his room.  Larry gets Charlie drinking and convinces him to dance with him.  After a couple of more shots Charlie yields to desire and has his first sexual encounter with another man.

Larry ingratiates himself to the band when he books a gig for them at the famed Midnight Garden.

Desperate to get his band into the pages of Downbeat, Teddy invites Larry to go on the road with the band.  And Charlie, who has found himself gazing at his best buddy, Jack, more than once – battles to contain his desire and to keep his encounter with Larry a secret.

On the road, the band bonds over wild nights set against the craze of the Big Band era and the lure of fame.  They drink, they dance, they make great music. They revel in their youth without a care in the world until one night.

In the midst of drunken merriment, Charlie confesses his feelings for Jack.  His secret about Larry tears apart their friendship.  Jack confused by his own feelings for his closest friend, has sex with as many girls as are willing.  The friends’ anger and fear carries into their performance and the band is ultimately torn apart.



A multiple NICHOLL FELLOWSHIP semi-finalist screenplay! (Top 114 out of over 6,300 screenplays)

What the judges and readers have to say …

“I read a lot of scripts. This one is a masterpiece.” –C.L.

”I read Midnight Swing and love it. You write beautifully. The structure is precise, the story compelling, and the world so vital.” – L.R.

“How can something be so heartbreaking … and yet have such hilarious beats? I’m sold and this is gold!” – T.G.

”A sparkling gem! A prestige piece, but skewed toward a younger audience – that an older crowd will dig, too. This is new. This is different. I’m kind of thinking I love this!” – B.B.

 “Tender, intelligent, and skillfully written.” – D.C.

 “This breaks my heart. It’s so right.” M.S.