I've enjoyed all of the feature films inspired by the interesting 1920s case of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two Chicago based law students who decided to commit the perfect murder. They kidnapped a fourteen year old boy, killed him for the thrill of it, asked his rich family for a ransom, were caught, and sent to prison. The case became known as 'The crime of the century' for a while, and 'Swoon' (1992) is one of several adoptions, including the Alfred Hitchcock movie 'Rope' (1958), and 1959's 'Compulsion', both of them masterpieces of cinema.
'Swoon' focuses largely on the months before the crime took place, the investigation, trial and final fate of these young men, who were also gay lovers, although that was never touched upon in a movie as old as 'Compulsion', and was only briefly nodded at in 'Rope'. In 'Swoon', homosexuality is given a strong focus throughout, and reveals the vital role it played in the murder, and especially it's aftermath. This different angle on the screen makes this an important dramatization, without really coming close to bettering the others.
As well as serving as an interesting character study, 'Swoon', written and directed by Tom Kalin, is quite the work of art. It's beautifully shot, filmed in haunting black-and-white cinematography by Ellen Kuras which gives it a documentary style, with appropriate archive footage from the time slotted in. It's absolutely dripping in style, and complemented with wonderfully atmospheric music by James Bennett in the background. The acting from Daniel Schlachet (Leob) and Craig Chester (Leopold) is fairly average, but the film looks wonderful from a technical point of view, and the story, a classic in American true crime, remains fascinating and suspenseful. Well worth you're time and money!