Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mark Lewis|
|Produced by||Sybil Robson Orr
Frederic W. Brost
|Screenplay by||Leslie Stevens|
|Story by||Jay Sommers
|Narrated by||Frank Welker|
|Music by||Charles Fox|
|Edited by||Lindsay Frazer
|Distributed by||Miramax Family Films|
|Running time||90 minutes|
Gordy is a 1995 American family comedy-drama film about a piglet named Gordy who searches for his missing family (who are taken away to a slaughterhouse in Omaha). Gordy experiences the lives of others who are part of the film's side plots, including traveling country music singers Luke McAllister and his daughter Jinnie Sue; and lonely boy Hanky Royce whose mother is engaged to a sinister businessman, Gilbert Sipes. Gordy changes lives for the people he encounters due to their ability to understand him. The film was released to theaters on May 12, 1995. It was distributed by Miramax Family Films.
A young spunky piglet named Gordy lives on Meadow Brook Farm somewhere near Hope, Arkansas. After the farmer goes bankrupt, some men arrive in a truck to take Gordy's family. They first take Gordy's father, but Gordy is alerted of this by the farm's rooster. Gordy tries to stop his father from leaving by following the truck, but his father tells him to go home and look after the family. When Gordy returns he finds his mother and siblings were taken in another truck while he pursued his father. Determined to locate his family and return to the farm, Gordy heads out alone to find them. He eventually ends up in the care of Jinnie Sue MacAllister, a young country singer who lives in a camper van with her also country singer father, Luke, and their "manager", Cousin Jake. Jinnie Sue, not knowing Gordy's name, calls him Pinky.
They travel to a dinner party where Luke performs for the governor of Arkansas. Also there is rich businessman, Henry R. Royce; his daughter Jessica; her rather dull but scheming fiancé, Gilbert Sipes; and Jessica's lonely young son Hanky. Hanky wanders off on his own and meets Gordy and Jinnie Sue. Hanky falls into a swimming pool, but cannot swim. Just as Jinnie Sue rushes off to get help, Gordy dives into the pool with an inflatable pool toy and saves Hanky. Due to his bravery, Gordy is given to Hanky as a pet, and Gordy also becomes suddenly famous.
Royce and Sipes have alternate decisions on who the new mascot of the Royce Company should be: Gordy or Jessica. In the end, Gordy wins, due to a switched camera lens used on Jessica's promotion. Sipes is determined to remove Gordy and then take control of the company. He sends his two guards, Dietz and Krugman, to kidnap Gordy, but Gordy and Hanky escape on board a school bus, which the two men pursue. On the way, they are distracted briefly by a cross-dressing thief, and discover that Gordy and Hanky have escaped onto a feeding truck. They unexpectedly meet up with the MacAllisters, who learn from the radio that Hanky has apparently run away. Another bulletin follows, revealing Henry Royce has died of a heart attack. The MacAllisters return Hanky and Gordy to the Royce building in St. Louis, Missouri where an attorney reveals Henry has left his company to Hanky and Gordy.
Cousin Jake, upon learning Gordy's family is missing, organizes a giant country-wide search to locate them and also a country music concert in Branson, Missouri in Gordy's name. A host of country singers perform, as well as a surprise speech from President Bill Clinton (just an impersonator) who unveils a new stamp of Gordy. Sipes sends his men to kidnap Gordy, tie him in a sack, and toss him in a river, but the pig is saved by Cousin Jake. Jake returns Gordy to Hanky and Jinnie Sue. Everyone learns from someone who calls into the telethon where Gordy's family is going to be slaughtered at an unidentified slaughterhouse in Nebraska. Sipes tries to hide the fact that the very same slaughterhouse is owned by the Royce family. However, a battle ensues between Sipes and Luke, with Jessica and Luke knocking him out with the suitcase of Brinks, the family attorney. Gordy, Hanky, Jinnie Sue, Jessica, Luke, Cousin Jake, and Brinks race to stop the slaughterhouse from killing Gordy's family but a train slows them down. Hanky successfully rings the lovestruck supervisor and the slaughterhouse is shut down just in time. To Gordy's happiness his family has survived and he is reunited with his father who was also about to be killed at the slaughterhouse. The pigs are moved back to the farm, which Luke and Jessica decide to buy with most of the Royce Company profits; the two marry and Hanky, Jinnie Sue, and Cousin Jake move in too. Gordy and his family are finally reunited.
- Doug Stone as Luke MacAllister: A country singer, and the father of Jinnie Sue.
- Kristy Young as Jinnie Sue MacAllister: The daughter of Luke, also a country singer.
- Tom Lester as Cousin Jake: Luke's cousin and the manager of his group.
- Deborah Hobart as Jessica Royce: The daughter of Henry Royce and mother of Hanky, engaged to Sipes.
- Michael Roescher as Hanky Royce: The lonely but friendly son of Jessica. He becomes a good friend to Gordy.
- James Donadio as Gilbert Sipes: The fiancé of Jessica. He is a rather selfish and scheming man who is looking to take over the Royce company.
- Ted Manson as Henry Royce: The elderly executive of the Royce Company, father of Jessica, and grandfather of Hanky. He dies part-way through the film at age 73 due to a heart attack.
- Tom Key as Brinks: The comical friendly attorney of the Royce family and Sipes. He usually follows the advice of his conscience.
- Jon Kohler and Afemo Omilami as Dietz and Krugman: Sipes's incompetent henchmen.
- Justin Garms as Gordy: A spunky and determined young piglet who sets out from his home to find his missing family.
- Hamilton Camp as Gordy's Father: An adult pig who was taken up North to be slaughtered. Camp also voices Richard the Rooster, an adult rooster who warns Gordy that his family has been taken away.
- Jocelyn Blue as Gordy's Mother: The mother of Gordy and his five siblings. She and Gordy's siblings are also taken for slaughter.
- Frank Welker as the Narrator and Animals' vocal effects
- Tress MacNeille as Wendy, Richard's mate
- Earl Boen as Minnesota Red
- Frank Soronow as Dorothy the Cow
- Billy Bodine as Piglet
- Blake McIver Ewing as Piglet
- Julianna Harris as Piglet
- Sabrina Weiner as Piglet
- Heather Bahler as Piglet
- Jim Meskimen as the voice of Bill Clinton
Along with overwhelmingly negative reviews, Gordy was eclipsed by Babe, which was another family film featuring a young talking pig. Review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes rated the film with a 26% based on 19 reviews. Both Babe and Gordy premiered in the same year. Although Gordy was released first, it was a box office bomb, while Babe was a critical and commercial success, won several awards (including an Academy Award for Visual Effects) and spawned a sequel.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 stars and wrote, "This is not the kind of film that rewards deep analysis. I rate it at two stars, but I'd recommend it for kids. I can't recommend it for people like me, but there are many other kinds of people in the world, some of them children who believe that pigs can talk, and for them, "Gordy" is likely to be very entertaining. You know who you are."
Peter Stack of the Chronicle Staff claimed that "Gordy's strongest suit is the piglet's determination to reunite with his family, and that part of the convoluted plot develops into a folksy comic effort as Jinnie Sue, her dad, Hanky and Gordy race to save the family of pigs from becoming sausages. One would think the pork industry would be livid about this film as it portrays pig slaughter as an outrageous evil. The highlight comes when Gordy jumps into a backyard swimming pool—piglets really are cutest when they put their little trotters together and dive—and saves Hanky from drowning.
Chris Hicks of the Deseret News reviewed the film saying that "This may have sounded like a cute idea on paper, but as kids pictures go this is the worst to come along in memory. Charmless, humorless and dull as drying paint, "Gordy" is the kind of movie parents should save for video punishment. But if they take their kids to a theater, they'll be punishing themselves."
Rita Kempley of the Washington Post called Gordy a "peculiar, seemingly pro-vegan tale". She later went on to say that "It's fairly obvious that Gordy's performance was inspired by Arnold Ziffel's precedent-setting work on the old TV series "Green Acres." But then so was the movie, which was penned by series alumni Jay Sommers and Dick Chevillat. Their screenplay is as bland as an afternoon in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, though the director, Australian animal-mockumentary-maker Mark Lewis, adds a touch of menace by using extreme close-ups, bizarre angles and other stylish camera work.
One thing's for sure, "Gordy" will put little pea-pickers off their pork."
Walter V. Addiego of The Examiner Staff stated that "The film tosses a few mild, satirical darts at public relations and advertising, but otherwise it's strictly hokum from the heartland. The director, I'm sorry to say, is Mark Lewis, the Australian responsible for the strange and funny documentary "Cane Toads: An Unnatural History," which enlivened the S.F. Film Festival in 1988. "Gordy" will not enhance his resume. It's surprisingly amateurish, due in no small part to clumsy scripting by Leslie Stevens."
Tracy Moore of Common Sense Media gave the film two out of five stars, saying that "This fast-moving adventure about a talking pig's mission to find his family has a few fun elements -- some lively country music, a brush with fortune and fame, a bit of suspense, and lots of comically dodged mishaps. Kids will no doubt be entertained by the talking animals, cute pigs, and loads of adventure. Parents, however, should note the parent and child separation and the death of a grandparent as key concerns, as well as the scariness factor of the impending violence of the slaughterhouse, which is teased throughout the movie. If the audience is old enough to handle that potentially squeamish subject, Gordy is otherwise a passable 90 minutes of animal-talking antics." TV Guide gave the film 1½ stars out of four.
However, the film did receive a positive review from Louis Black of The Austin Chronicle. Black rated the film with 2.5/4 and said that "Gordy is a fast-paced comedy about a young talking pig who is separated from his family and becomes a hero and a star as he searches for them around the country. When the farm where he was raised is put up for sale, Gordy escapes being sold, trucked off to be fattened up, and, eventually, slaughtered. Venturing cross country, he is picked up by the singing young daughter (Young) of a traveling country & western singer (played by real country star Stone). Gordy is then passed along to the young son (Roescher) of an aging, billionaire industrialist (Manson) after the pig saves the boy from drowning in a swimming pool, thus becoming pig hero to the nation and the trademark that revitalizes the father's company. There is, of course, an evil prince of industry (Donado) plotting against the pig, a bunch of wonderful bungling henchmen, and even sweet, old, country & western romance. A lot happens, it moves quickly, and the film is filled with minor characters who nicely round things out; my young companion watched the film from beginning to end, loving it. This is not a date movie."
- "Gordy". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- Leonard Klady (July 21, 1993). "Film `Gordy, The Pig' Makes Mr. Motown A Bit Nervous - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
- ""Pig Power" Tag Team". YouTube. November 29, 2010. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
- James, Caryn (May 12, 1995). "Movie Review - Gordy - FILM REVIEW; You're Cute, but No Arnold Ziffel". The New York Times. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- "Gordy - Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- "Weekend Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. May 16, 1995. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
- "Movie Review & Film Summary (1995) Roger Ebert". Chicago Sun-Times. May 12, 1995. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Stack, Peter (May 12, 1995). "A Stinker About a Cuddly, Precocious Corporate Pig". Chronicle Staff Critic. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
- Kehr, Dave (May 12, 1995). "'Gordy': Dorky Pig Really Hams It Up". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
- "Film review: Gordy". Deseret News. May 16, 1995. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- "Gordy". Washington Post. May 12, 1995. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- Addiego, Walter (May 16, 1995). "Arkansas piglet in heartland hokum". The Examiner Staff. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
- Tracy Moore. "Gordy - Movie Review". Commonsensemedia.org. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Gordy: Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Gordy". The Austin Chronicle. May 12, 1995. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
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