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By Deb Havener

GENRE: Drama, Music

In the heyday of the swing-era a young man in a local swing band confesses his feelings for his best friend – the 2nd-chair trumpet player – just as the band is about to explode onto the National stage.

Nicholl Fellowship semi-finalist, Screencraft Fellowship semi-finalist


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

The self-proclaimed stars of this band are two young trumpet players, inseparable friends CHARLIE HATFIELD, the sensitive first-chair player who fights hard to keep his sexuality a secret, and JACK DUPREE, a streetwise tough kid who craves attention from the ladies. These two know how to play off each other to milk the crowd for applause and affection – much to the chagrin of their bandleader Teddy – who just craves a little professionalism.

Weaving his way through the crowd this fateful night is LARRY EVANS – a dashing photographer from the hit magazine DownBeat. Sent to snap pictures of obscure swing bands of the Midwest, Larry is amused by the youthful, showy band. But when Charlie steps forward to perform a solo, Larry’s deep fascination is unmasked.

Larry soon finds himself alone with Charlie in the men’s room. Using his prestige as a DownBeat photographer, he talks Charlie into coming up to his hotel room to look at photographs of famous bands. Alone in the room, Larry convinces Charlie to dance with him. After a couple more shots of booze, Charlie yields to desire and has his first encounter with another man.

Larry ingratiates himself into the band when he books a gig for them at the famed Moonlight Garden

Meanwhile, desperate to get his band into the pages of Downbeat, Teddy invites Larry to hit the road with the band. And Charlie, who has found himself gazing moon-eyed at Jack more than once, struggles to keep his love for Jack – and his encounter with Larry – a secret.

On the road, the band bonds over the wild nights, the craze of the Big band era, and the lure of fame. It’s one party after another – never mind the war that’s brewing in Europe. So they drink. They dance. They make memorable music. They revel in their very youth without a care in the world.

Until one particular night.

During a night of drunken merriment Charlie unwittingly confesses his real feelings to Jack. His secret tears apart their friendship. Jack, confused by his own feelings for his closest friend, has sex with as many girls who are willing. Their anger and fear carries over into their performances ... and while their music is at once fiery and brilliant, the band is ultimately torn apart.

Welcome to the swingy-hot summer of 1939, when romance, passion and lust run rampant through the Teddy Arnold and his Blue Boys Dance Band – not only in their sexual awakening, but in the very music they strive to play.

We offer you Midnight Swing, replete with a gorgeous cast, dazzling dances, bittersweet romance, and a dramatic subtext about coming of age during a time when America (set during Hollywood’s most glamorous year) was about to lose its innocence.


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