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Film / Swing High

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Swing High is a 1932 short film (ten minutes) directed by Jack Cummings, produced and narrated by Pete Smith

It is a documentary short featuring the "Flying Codonas", a then-famous trapeze artist family. Edward Codona is shown training his family members, who practice for the camera. The film ends with the Flying Codonas performing their act, ending with Alfredo Codona, the star of the show, performing a difficult triple somersault while flying through the air.

One of many, many short films produced by Pete Smith that accompanied MGM features throughout the 1930s and 1940s.


  • Circus Episode: In this particular Pete Smith short, he follows a family of trapeze artists.
  • Documentary: A documentary short about a family of trapeze artists.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • At the end of the practice session Pete Smith says "Now let's draw the curtain on the practice," and a black "curtain" falls, before rising to show the Codonas performing their act.
    • As Alfredo Codona gets ready for his famous triple somersault stunt, Smith says "Quiet please, no music." The musical score then stops, and doesn't start again until after Codona completes his leap.
  • Narrator: As with the vast majority of Pete Smith shorts, there's no dialogue, only Smith narrating.
  • Overcrank: Used for slow-motion shots of the Codonas flying through the air.
  • Pun: A hallmark of Pete Smith shorts. As one of the Codonas misses the man that's supposed to catch him and falls into the net, Smith cracks "He's been falling for that trick for eight years."