Saturday, December 28, 2013

Something In That Movie Made Me Hungry

I knew I had an obessession with food when I realized that most of my favorite movies were either about food or had an eating scene. For instance, when I think of the movie Twister the first scene that comes to mind is not the killer tornado, but rather the scene of the big meal the storm chaser crew is having at Aunt Meg's house. Steak and eggs and gravy and mashed potatoes.

There are many others besides the movies that are specifically about food or eating. I'm talking about scenes where food is more or less peripheral and not crucial to the story. Scenes in which my attention zeroes in to the food. 

  • In The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance there is a scene with James Stewart, Jo

  • hn Wayne and Lee Marvin featuring and plate of steak and potatoes and deep dish apple pie.
  • In The Apartment Jack Lemmon strains spaghetti with a tennis racket.
  • In Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Walter Huston extols the virtues of beans, and proceeds to finish off Bogard's leftovers.
  • In the 1953 War of the Worlds, a forest ranger helps himself to fried fish the scientists are cooking, and later in the movie the female lead cooks up a breakfast of bacon and eggs in a partially destroyed farm house.
  • In Amadeus, a priest tries to coax Salieri out of seclusion with something that looks like cake and ice cream.
  • In It Happened One Night, Clark Gable munches on a raw carrot while describing its health benefits.
  • In Napolean Dynamite, tater tots are coveted in one scene.
  • In Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Spencer Tracy has a hard time eating a hard shell taco.
  • In Tora! Tora! Tora!, that hot dog the Navy officer is eating while trying to alert the president about the Pearl Harbor attack looks pretty good.

There's also the radiated apples in 28 Days Later, the meat and bread Renfield is served in Dracula, the mounds of pasta in A Night at the Opera, the pork dish Johnny Depp eats that gets the cook shot in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the lobster in Funny Girl, the breakfast in Evolution, and the egg Van Johnson carries around in his helmet in Battleground (I don't think he ever gets to cook it). They all catch my attention, regardless of what the scene is about...

These are the ones that I immediately remember at this sitting, but there are probably hundreds more. Other movies feature food eating - Tom Jones, 9 1/2 Weeks, dozens more - but they don't me hungry, per se.

As for movies in which the story or plotline centers on food or cooking, the ones that work up my appetite have to be Babette's Feast, Big Night, My Dinner With Andre, Mambo Cafe, Tortilla Heaven, Like Water For Chocolate, Eat Drink Man Woman, Chocolat, and Tortilla Soup.

Many include coffee drinking, but don't get me started here. That's for another day.

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