Porky's is a 1981 sex comedy film written and directed by Bob Clark about the escapades of teenagers in 1954 at the fictional Angel Beach High School in Florida. The film influenced many writers in the teen film genre and spawned two sequels: Porky's II: The Next Day (1983) and Porky's Revenge! (1985), and a remake of the original titled Porky's Pimpin' Pee Wee (2009). Porky's was the fifth highest-grossing film of 1982.
|Directed by||Bob Clark|
|Written by||Bob Clark|
|Cinematography||Reginald H. Morris|
|Edited by||Stan Cole|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$160 million|
In 1954, each boy in a group of Florida high school students plans to lose his virginity. They go to Porky's, a strip club in the Everglades, believing that they can hire a prostitute to satisfy their sexual desires. The club's proprietor, Porky, takes their money but humiliates the boys by dumping them into the swamp. When the group demands their money back, the sheriff, Porky's brother, drives them away but not before he extorts them for the rest of their money, further embarrassing them.
After Mickey, who returned to Porky's for revenge, is beaten so badly he has to be hospitalized, the gang becomes hellbent on exacting revenge on Porky and his brother, eventually sinking Porky's establishment into the swamp. Porky and his men, joined by the sheriff, chase the group, but the boys make it across the county line, out of Porky's brother's jurisdiction, where local police officers and the high school band meet them. One of the officers, Mickey's older brother, Ted, repeatedly damages Porky's Hudson Hornet, promising to drop all charges against Porky for driving an unsafe vehicle if the night's events are forgiven. Because the boys are too young to have been allowed into Porky's legally, Porky and his brother agree.
In a subplot, the boys peep on co-ed students in the girl's locker room shower, and Tommy, Billy, and Pee Wee see several girls showering. Pee Wee gives them away when he shouts at a heavier girl, who has been blocking his view, to move so that he can see. While a few girls run out, most stay, finding the situation funny. To test their attitude, Tommy sticks his tongue out through his peephole but gets it smeared with soap. Infuriated, he drops his pants and sticks his Penis through the opening just before female coach Beulah Balbricker, who has a running feud with Tommy, walks into the shower area. Spotting the protruding member, she sneaks up on Tommy, grabs his penis, and pulls with all her might. Tommy pulls free and escapes, but Beulah is determined to prove that the offending member, which has a mole on it, belongs to Tommy, going so far as to request that Principal Carter hold a police-type line-up of the boys in the nude so she can identify it. However, Carter balks at her request. As the other basketball coaches laugh, Coach Brackett suggests asking the police to send a sketch artist and hang wanted posters around the school. When that suggestion gets even Carter laughing, Balbricker leaves in a huff. At the end of the film, she sneaks out of the bushes to ambush Tommy and actually drags his pants down, but she is pulled off him by police and dragged away screaming that she saw "it" and that she can identify its owner. Tommy breaks the fourth wall, saying, "Jeez!" to the camera.
Another subplot involves Coach Brackett taking an interest in attractive Coach Honeywell. Coach Warren repeatedly refers to Honeywell as "Lassie" while pointing to the equipment room, much to Coach Brackett's confusion. He quickly finds out why when he and Honeywell hide out in the equipment room after an argument with Balbricker, and Honeywell becomes turned on by the smell. This leads to the pair having sex in the room, but Honeywell begins loudly howling like a dog, thus revealing why she is called Lassie. Her howls are heard throughout the entire school, much to the students and Coach Warren's amusement. Brackett and Honeywell are fired as a result.
- Dan Monahan as Edward 'Pee Wee' Morris
- Mark Herrier as Billy McCarty
- Wyatt Knight as Tommy Turner
- Roger Wilson as Mickey Jarvis
- Cyril O'Reilly as Tim Cavanaugh
- Tony Ganios as Anthony 'Meat' Tuperello
- Kaki Hunter as Wendy Williams
- Kim Cattrall as Miss Lynn 'Lassie' Honeywell
- Nancy Parsons as Coach Beulah Balbricker
- Scott Colomby as Brian Schwartz
- Boyd Gaines as Coach Roy Brackett
- Doug McGrath as Coach Fred Warren
- Susan Clark as Cherry Forever
- Art Hindle as Ted Jarvis
- Wayne Maunder as Cavanaugh
- Alex Karras as Sheriff Wallace
- Chuck Mitchell as 'Porky' Wallace
- Eric Christmas as Mr. Carter
- Jack Mulcahy as Frank Bell
- Will Knickerbocker as The Bartender
- Bill Hindman as Coach Goodenough
Bob Clark got the idea to make the film in 1972. It was based on his experiences with five high school friends in Florida in the 1950s. He based the story on actual occurrences at Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport, Florida, and Fort Lauderdale High School in the early 1960s, and on a venue called Porky's Hide Away in Oakland Park, Florida.
Clark teamed up with Roger Swaybill on a film, Breaking Point. When Clark fell ill with mononucleosis in 1979, he dictated the story of Porky's to Swaybill, who then wrote a draft of the script. Every studio in Hollywood turned down the project. Clark eventually obtained financing from Melvin Simon Productions and a Canadian firm, Astro Bellevue Pathe. The film had to be made in Canada to obtain government tax benefits. This meant Clark, who was an American, got sole screen credit as writer. However, Swaybill was reimbursed with a six-figure sum and was co-writer on the sequel.
"It seems incredible to realize that Porky's, which earned more than $200 million worldwide, was done as a tax shelter, but that's the way it was," Swaybill says.
Upon its release, Porky's was viewed as "a likeable lowbrow coming-of-age comedy", but the critical appraisal has been more negative since then. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, which collects both contemporary and modern reviews, gives the film a score of 35% based on reviews from 37 critics and an average rating of 4.8/10. The consensus reads, "Gleeful in its misogyny and celebratory of bad behavior, Porky's is an intermittently funny farce that will leave audiences feeling in need of a shower." On Metacritic the film has a score of 40% based on reviews from 8 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were offended by Porky's and later called it one of the worst films of 1982. In particular, they criticized the film for what they viewed as its objectification and degradation of women and the childish nature of its antagonists, and they disliked that the film took what they felt was a thin, shallow and off-color stance against Anti-Semitism.
The film grossed $7.6 million for the weekend when it opened wide in 1982. It grossed a total of $106 million in its initial release in the United States and Canada, including $12 million in Canada. It grossed $25–30 million overseas, for a worldwide gross of over $130 million. Although it was written and directed by an American and was filmed in Miami, Florida, Porky's was produced by the Canadian company Astral Media. As a result, Porky's can be classed as the highest-grossing Canadian film of all time in the United States and Canada, with a total of C$111 million by 1999, including $6 million from a 1983 re-issue prior to the release of the sequel.
Including the re-issue, the film grossed $160 million worldwide.
The DVD of the film from the "Ultimate Collection" was also released as a stand-alone release called the "One Size Fits All" Edition and includes a retrospective featurette with Bob Clark, a discussion on how Porky's is a comedy classic, movie commentary by Bob Clark, the theatrical trailer, two television spots, trailers for Porky's II: The Next Day and Porky's Revenge!, and the sales pitch for the Porky's video game.
Porky's was released on Blu-ray on September 25, 2012. The bonus material for the Blu-ray is the bonus material from the "One Size Fits All" Edition that focuses on the movie itself. The trailers for Porky's II: The Next Day and Porky's Revenge!, and the Porky's video game sales pitch were not included as bonus materials for the Blu-ray release.
Following the success of Porky's in America and Europe, a sequel, Porky's II: The Next Day, was released in 1983. It was poorly received by critics and was less commercially successful than the original. Bob Clark did not want to make another film in the series, so director James Komack made the third and last part of the saga. The third film, Porky's Revenge!, was the worst-received of the series both critically and commercially.
In 2002, Howard Stern acquired the remake rights and has long hoped to produce a remake of the film. The potential remake ran into legal trouble in 2011 when two other production companies stepped forward claiming to own the rights. In 2013, the parties reached a confidential settlement and agreed to dismiss a claim and counterclaim with prejudice. The terms of the settlement remain confidential, and to date, if it allows for Stern's remake to be made is unknown.
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