Oscar Actors: Lahti, Christine

In Jonathan Demme's “Swing Shift,” Christine Lahtui plays Hazel Zanussi, best friend of Kay Walsh (Goldie Hawn) at a factory during WWII, when women joined the work force to replace the fighting men.

The most interesting sections are those describing the female camaraderie, specifically the bond that develops between Kay and her feisty neighbor Hazel, a liberated woman with “looser” sexual codes. When Kay's husband Jack (Ed Harris) comes home for a visit and her lover Lucky (Kurt Russell) feels neglected, he is easily seduced by Hazel, leading to tensions and some melodramatic confrontations between the two women.

Oscar Alert

Christine Lahti received her first and only Oscar nomination as Supporting Actress; the winner, however, was Dame Peggy Ashcroft for David Lean's epic “A Passage to India.” The other nominees were Glenn Close in “The Natural,” Lindsay Crouse in “Places in the Heart,” and Gerladine Page in “The Pope of Greenwich Village.”