Review: ‘Rudy, the Racing Pig’

"Rudy" is no "Babe," but it is a warm, accessible kidpic about a family that takes in and falls in love with a cute porker. This could travel well on children's circuits.

“Rudy” is no “Babe,” but it is a warm, accessible kidpic about a family that takes in and falls in love with a cute porker. This could travel well on children’s circuits.

Dr. Heinrich Guetzkow (Ulrich Muehe) is an out-of-work Egyptologist with a loving wife (Iris Berben) and children who are quickly losing their respect for him. One day, the kids win a piglet at a country fair and insist on keeping it. While rest of the story concerns the misadventures the pig gets them into, it’s mainly about the pressures on the family: getting kicked out of their apartment, Guetzkow trying to find a job, his wife leaving and then coming back.

The movie’s pig race is not as suspenseful as it could be. Best is the final sequence, when the family has to team up to save the snorter from a slaughterhouse. Though the film would have profited from more tricks for Rudy and fewer scenes of dysfunction between the two adults, it works in a warm, family-affirming way.

Guetzkow is well played by nice-guy actor Muehe (“The Spider’s Web”), and TV star Berben is her usual glamorous, bighearted self as his wife. The kid thesps could have had stronger roles: Cora Sabrina Grimm, as oldest daughter Betty, in the throes of teenage discontent, comes across strongest.

Experienced TV and film director Peter Timm does a solid job working from a capable but episodic script, and technical credits are all excellent.

Rudy, the Racing Pig

(GERMAN)

Production

A Senator release (in Germany) of a Senator production. (International sales: Bavaria Film, Geiselgasteig.) Produced by Guenter Rohrbach. Executive producer, Hanno Huth. Directed by Peter Timm. Screenplay, Uwe Timm, Ulrich Limmer, based on Uwe Timm's novel.

Crew

Camera (color), Fritz Seemann; editor, Christel Suckow; music, Detlef Petersen; production design, Josef Sanktjohanser; costume design, Gabriele Arendt; sound (Dolby), Rolf Hapke; stunt coordinator, Francois Doge; line producer, Stefaan Schieder. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (New German Cinema), Feb. 16, 1996. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Dr. Heinrich Guetzkow ... Urich Muehe Almut Guetzkow ... Iris Berben Betty Guetzkow ... Cora Sabrina Grimm Zuppi Guetzkow ... Kristina Pauls Tobi Guetzkow ... Constantin von Jascheroff
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