Review: ‘Leon the Pig Farmer’

A London Jewish kid finds his real dad is in the bacon trade in Leon the Pig Farmer, a good-humored riff on Jewish-gentile stereotypes.

A London Jewish kid finds his real dad is in the bacon trade in Leon the Pig Farmer, a good-humored riff on Jewish-gentile stereotypes.

Billing itself as ‘the first Jewish comedy feature film to come out of Britain,’ pic is very different in feel to Yank equivalents. Sitcom elements and British scatological humor keep peeking through the comic fabric. Pacing, too, is milder.

Opening has Leon (Mark Frankel) finding he and his brothers are actually the products of artificial insemination, as Dad has a low sperm count. His real father is gentile pig farmer Chadwick (Brian Glover) up north in the wilds of Yorkshire.

Surprised but delighted, Chadwick and his wife (Connie Booth) go 200% Jewish to make Leon feel at home. Twist comes when Leon, helping out on the farm, accidentally injects a pig with sheep’s semen, producing the world’s first kosher porker.

Playing of the uneven script is broad all round, with Glover dominating all his scenes and well supported by Booth. Maryam D’Abo livens up the London segs as a horny gentile with the hots for Jewish boys. Franklin is okay as the bemused Leon.

Leon the Pig Farmer

UK

Production

Leon the Pig Farmer. Director Vadim Jean, Gary Sinyor; Producer Gary Sinyor, Vadim Jean; Screenplay Gary Sinyor, Michael Norman; Camera Gordon Hickie; Editor Ewa J. Lind; Music John Murphy, David Hughes; Art Director Simon Hicks

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Mark Frankel Janet Suzman Brian Glover Connie Booth David de Keyser Maryam D'Abo
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