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Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Chowing Down" at the movies

I used to love the holidays when I was in college or in the Air Force. While in the Air Force I usually took leave for the holidays and in college they were either during term break or between terms. Hence, it meant plenty of party times and debauchery. How well I remember the three for a dollar happy hour martinis at the Peacock Lounge in Cincinnati in the mid-60s! Whew! Enough of that; I get a headache just thinking about that cheap gin.

I watch a lot of classic films, especially during the holidays since many of my favorites are on Turner Classic Movies or in my own library. Since the holidays mean eating more than usual, I was thinking today about films with great eating scenes.

One of my favorites is from Animal House (1978) where Bluto (John Belushi) goes through the line in the college cafeteria stuffing his mouth and pockets with everything in sight.

If you’ve seen Blazing Saddles (1974), you have to remember the scene of the guys sitting around the campfire eating beans with the expected result.

Then there is Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke (1967) proving that yes, he can eat 50 hard boiled eggs in an hour in spite of George Kennedy saying it couldn’t be done.

Another favorite is the scene from Five Easy Pieces (1970) in the roadside restaurant with Jack Nicholson telling off a surly waitress after she will not allow any substitutes on his meal.

In 1931, James Cagney was becoming a star in films with his portrayal of Tom Powers in The Public Enemy. This is a famous scene at the breakfast table between Cagney and actress Mae Clarke. I haven’t been able to eat grapefruit since the first time I saw it!

Those are five of the best food related scenes I have seen in film. There are many more good ones and probably some that you think are better than those on my list. Although I love those five, I still have one that tops them all. At this moment you are probably thinking you know what it is since it is a real stand out. Click here to find out if you are right. (Clue: Think of Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan from 1989.)

Happy New Year!


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