Wait. Did I say high culture? I meant…whatever Porky’s is. Seriously. I just saw Porky’s for the first time since teenagedom and the movie surprised me.
Of course I remembered the girl’s locker-room scene for which the movie is best known (by its perennially 15 year-old boy fan base), but what I didn’t remember is that Porky’s may be the most philosemitic movie of all time.
The movie follows a group of randy high school boys at Angel Beach High in the 1950s, particularly their troubles with a local “nightclub” owner named Porky. After Porky nearly beats one of the boys to death, the boys are hot to get revenge. They’re prepared to jump in the car and head right over to Porky’s, but cooler heads prevail.
Or rather: Brian Schwartz prevails. Brian, the token Yid, cooks up a wily (Jewish?) scheme to take down Porky. The detailed plan (which involves dynamite and underwater wiring) works to perfection, and Brian is the hero of the film.
But Brian isn’t only the only thinker/strategist of the bunch. He’s also a mentsch. AND he’s physically gifted enough to play on the basketball team and beat the Irish bully Cavanaugh in a fist fight.
In a movie populated by crude Gentile kids made stupid (but funny, of course) by their sex-starved existences, Brian Schwartz serves an almost messianic role.
But is the movie really as philosemitic as it initially seems? Perhaps not. Brian Schwartz is, ultimately, embraced by the cool kids, but he still doesn’t get to have fun. And he still doesn’t get the girls.