If you are a long time reader, you know I have an on-going love of movies. True, there was a time when I eschewed going to movies in a misguided belief that movies were inherently immoral. But, once I recovered, I returned to seeing movies, and have discovered many ways of viewing them.
I finished several recent posts on movies that had been nominated for the Academy Award in a particular category, with the winners being awarded a golden statuette nick-named "Oscar."
Since Oscar season is over for a year, I am ruminating on other ways of enjoying movies than just whether or not they are winners. I got to thinking about all the ways that eating, or food scenes, play an important part in movies. Such scenes are frequently symbolic and in a brief scene will convey something very telling about the characters.
So, herewith a few memorable eating/food scenes from movies.
One of the earliest movies that I remember being enthralled with was Tom Jones (1963), the adaptation of Henry Fielding's novel from the mid-1700s. It is in fact one of the earliest novels that we have in English literature. The plot was basically structured around a series of encounters that the titular character Tom Jones has. I can't attest to whether or not the movie was a faithful adaption. But I do recall one singular eating scene. Tom has met a lusty woman named Jenny Jones. And there then ensues a marvelous scene where the two dine in a roadside, eating crab legs, chicken legs, turkey legs, oysters and so forth. It is a most seductive scene ending, predictably, with them rushing to bed.
Another favorite eating scene comes from Mel Brooks' splendid Young Doctor Frankenstein (1974). Peter Boyle plays Frankenstein's monster; he has broken free of his creator and is now being chased by angry fearful townspeople. The monster seeks refuge, and happens into the humble hut of a blind priest, played by Gene Hackman. The monster is virtually mute, and can only grunt. The priest cannot see, but offers the runaway monster some food--soup. As the monster sits waiting at the table, the monk comes to him and proceeds to ladle out the soup...predictably missing the bowl. It lands on the monster's lap, burning him. He cries out--HMMMMM. Of course, the monk takes that to be his appreciation for the food...and the scene goes from one misunderstanding to another.
And the final scene which involves food (believe me, I could go on...but I don't want to lose the reader) comes from the movie Five Easy Pieces (1970). The movie stars a very young Jack Nicholson, and while I can't the plot of the movie, or even the point, I certainly recall Jack Nicholson ordering toast. And, no, I can't describe it. You will just have to watch it--it's a classic.
Could I go on? Oh, you bet. But now, I have to go get dinner ready. We are NOT having any of the aforementioned featured foods.
Do you have a favorite food scene from a movie? Do tell!
I have two that come to mind immediately. One is "Babette's Feast" and the other is "Chocolat."
I must admit I am usually more impressed with descriptions of food in books. Every time there is a new Chief Inspector Gamache book by Louise Penny I know I'd better clear the house of snacks.
I loved that scene in Five Easy Pieces, too.
My favorite food movie is Big Night. No particular scene--the whole movie is italian food. We left the movie and headed for the nearest Italian restaurant.
Netflix has several "foodie" movies and I have enjoyed all of them.
NC MountainWoman--I have been told of Babette's Feast, and have watched clips on Youtube, but I have never seen the whole movie.
I agree on Chocolat--but decided to limit my selections. Thanks for these two.
Mary Lee--Hmmm, I don't know Big Night. Will have to look it up.
The scene from Five Easy Pieces certainly is a classic--can't remember much about the rest of that move, but that scene...unforgettable.
Interesting that this is your topic. Last night my son-in-law and I watched the silly 1981 movie "Time Bandits" and there was one scene where one of the little bandits chomped on a live and squirmy rat !!! Will that count?
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