If you stopped a hundred people on the street and asked them to name a famous adult film, you’re probably making obnoxious YouTube content and I hate you. However, the people that did answer would say Debbie Does Dallas more than any other film. The film is the Casablanca of pornography. At least in the sense that everyone has heard of it, but most people haven’t actually seen it.

Due to an oversight in production, the movie was released without a copyright notice. A 1986 court decision rendered it public domain just like Winnie the Pooh. I am not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that this means that if you wanted to make Debbie Does the Hundred Acre Woods, Disney can’t do shit to
stop you. I actually watched the entire movie on Wikipedia. Seriously!

I feel somewhat obligated to preface my synopsis with a heavy spoiler warning, but honestly if you’re the kind of person who wants to watch Debbie Does Dallas for the plot, you should probably stop reading and rethink your life choices.

The movie begins on a football field with a group of young women doing their cheerleading routine. There are multiple levels of cheerleading talent. At the top there is professional cheerleading, then college cheerleading, community college cheerleading, middle aged former cheerleaders after their second box of wine, and then whatever the fuck this was. Fortunately, what the squad lacks in talent they make up for with a lack of panties.

The girls huddle around to congratulate head cheerleader Debbie on being invited to try out for the Texas Cowgirls cheerleading squad. Debbie is honored to have been selected but her parents won’t pay for her to travel to Texas. That’s right, this movie doesn’t take place in Dallas. I guess 'Debbie’s Friends Attempt to Assist Debbie in Doing Dallas' didn’t fit on the movie poster. Debbie’s friends and fellow cheerleaders, Roberta, Rikki, Annie, Donna, Lisa, Tammy, Pat, and Girl in Shower are all supportive and want to help. Holy shit, Debbie Does Dallas passes the Bechdel test!

They head to the locker room to take their shirts off one at a time and hatch a scheme. The girls all agree to take odd jobs to earn money. They decide to call their “company” Teen Services. I’m pretty sure that when a group of friends get jobs at different places it isn’t a company, but the script does not go into detail about how Teen Services is structured as a taxable entity. It’s truly an inspirational display of comradery and women working to elevate each other. So, eat a dick Spice Girls, Debbie and her friends were doing girl power twenty years before you zigazigged your first hah.

The movie continues with the most shocking women’s locker room shower scene in the history of pornography. At least in the sense that the ladies all wash themselves and then get dressed and leave without anyone having sex. Apparently, lesbian scenes weren’t commonplace until the mid ‘80s. Back on the field, Roberta’s boyfriend Rick is annoyed by the lack of sex due to the girls being busy trying to earn money and comes up with a plan. He sneaks into the locker room with his friends “boy in the shower” and “other boy in the shower” where the three of them have sex with Roberta and Pat. The audio in this scene is something else. Either the foley artist went a bit overboard or someone was loudly eating a peanut butter sandwich when they shot the blowjob shots.

The film cuts to a montage of quick scenes of the girls getting jobs. Debbie begs for work at a sporting goods store; Tammy gets a job working at the record shop; Roberta gets a job at a candle store; Rikki and Annie get a car washing gig, and Lisa gets a job at a tennis club.

Debbie starts working completely oblivious to the leers from store owner Mr. Greenfield. He is played by Richard Bolla who somehow manages to come across as a creepier version of Woody Allen. Richard Bolla went on to have a mainstream movie career and was cast in the lead role in Cannibal Holocaust. He even had a bit part in the 2002 Spider-Man movie. Eventually Mr. Greenfield can’t contain himself any longer and begs Debbie to let him play with her breasts. She eventually agrees to do it for $40. Adjusted for inflation, that is roughly $27,000 in 2024 according to some numbers that I made up.

The next day the girls meet in the locker room but are disappointed that they haven’t raised nearly enough money to pay for the trip. Debbie surprises them all by showing how much she made from Mr. Greenfield. She then comes up with a completely original idea that has never been tried before. She suggests that men might be willing to exchange money for sexual favors. The girls are initially skeptical of Debbie’s visionary idea, but she manages to convince them. Annie offers to show the girls her special technique for pleasing her boyfriend without going all the way and asks for a banana to demonstrate. The scene cuts before we can find out what that technique is, but more on that later.

The next scene is Roberta working at the candle shop. She finds herself alone and decides to take off her shorts and use a candle in a manner that is neither endorsed nor recommended by the International Candle Makers Association. When contacted for comment, a representative for the ICMA called me a pervert and hung up on me. Anyway, Roberta is caught by the candle store owners Mr. and Mrs. Hardwick. They have a serious conversation with her about respecting their place of business and misuse of company assets… ok not really. They all fuck.

It was at this point that I again started to question this movie’s choice of title. Not only is this not Dallas, but Roberta has had sex with five people before Debbie even takes her pants off. Come on Debbie, Dallas is counting on you!

The movie cuts to Rikki and Annie going to wash Mr. Bradly’s car. He isn’t home but the car is in the driveway. Mr. Bradly comes home to find the girls completely soaked after a water fight. He invites them inside to dry off and offers them $10 to let him watch them undress. This turns into an offer for more money to lead us into the next sex scene. We finally learn what Annie’s secret technique is. Annie might not go “all the way” but she does go to fifth base. The girls are forced to make a hasty escape as they hear Mr. Bradly’s wife coming home.

Donna is hard at work at the library putting books away on high shelves while being watched by the old librarian Mr. Biddle. Donna’s boyfriend Tim shows up and begs her for sex. Donna is reluctant but says she can try something one of her friends showed her. Clearly that friend wasn’t Annie because Donna uses her mouth. Mr. Biddle catches them and chases Tim away. Donna begs him not to tell her parents and he agrees to spank her instead. It’s weird and awkward yet Mr. Biddle is still the least creepy man in this entire movie. He keeps his clothes on the whole time. I wonder if the director owed him money. Lisa is hard at work at the Tennis club where her job seems to be picking things off the ground while wearing a tennis dress without panties. Her boss Hamilton and his friend Ashly enjoy watching her and share a bit of dialogue dripping with the kind of misogyny typically only reserved for 80’s ski movie villains. I thought that it would have made for a great teachable moment about respecting women but instead they spit roast her in the sauna. I guess 1970s pornography is not the best place for learning about feminism.

We return to Tammy at the record store who is clearly not interested in manager Tony’s repeated shameless attempts to hit on her. Exasperated, she calls Lisa for help who shows up and they team up to teach Tony a lesson. I’m not sure what he learned while they were sucking his dick but it clearly made an impression.

Finally, we get to the moment we have all been waiting for. Debbie arrives at the sporting good’s store after hours to do the special job that Mr. Greenfield promised her. She is wearing an outfit that resembles but is legally distinct from a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader uniform. Mr. Greenfield calls her upstairs over the store’s intercom. Debbie looks around for him for a few moments when he surprises her by bursting out of the dressing room wearing a football uniform. He looks like Joe Namath, except that his uniform doesn’t have any New York Jets branding. Also, his dick is hanging out. Mr. Greenfield offers to pay for her and her friends’ entire trip to Texas if she helps him live out his fantasy of being the quarterback that gets to sleep with the head cheerleader. Debbie quickly realizes that there’s only about ten minutes left in this movie and agrees to this deus ex cockina. What follows is probably the best framed sex scene in the movie, which is admittedly a low bar to clear.

The film fades out on Debbie in post coital bliss to the sound of a cheering crowd and a title card that reads “Touchdown for Mr. Greenfield” followed by “Score one for Debbie.” Personally, I think we should award Debbie the touchdown as that would give her six points winning the lead over Roberta’s five and thus securing her position as the winner of this game that I just made up.

The final title card before the credits mysteriously reads “NEXT….” It’s not clear if this was a production mistake or an awkward way to imply that the story would continue in the sequel. They did eventually release a part two and part three to the Debbie franchise or DDDCU although they were direct to VHS and nowhere near the campy fun of the original classic.

Overall, Debbie Does Dallas is not a good movie, but it is a fun movie. It serves as a shining example of what made the golden age of porn so magical. It glides from scenes of terribly written dialog with stilted acting, to questionable directorial choices, awkward camera angles, and a literal bow-chika-wow-wow soundtrack. It’s a lot of fun if you don’t think too hard about that stag party in the 70’s when your grandfather watched it. It’s a great movie to laugh at with friends over a case of beer, but if you do, please use bananas responsibly.