This weekend, I decided to do something a little different here. As a voracious movie buff, I regularly seek out movies from all eras and genres, from the 1920s black and white silent films, to the present day epic movies like Lord of the Rings. Regardless of the type of movie, food has found its way into various notable scenes on the big screen.
Here are 10 memorable food scenes that stick out clearly in my mind when I think about food and movies. Enjoy the clips. Rent the movie if you wish. Have a great weekend people!
Charlie Chaplin: The Tramp eats his own shoe in The Gold Rush
Warning: Some of the video clips include strong language. And spoilers, obviously.
10. 50 First Dates
How to approach a girl – Set in Hawaii, this romantic comedy stars Adam Sandler as Henry who falls in love with Drew Barrymore’s character, Lucy. The only problem? Lucy has a unique form of amnesia and wakes up each day with no memory of the day before. Henry sees Lucy having breakfast at the café every morning, and devises various ways to eat with her.
9. Pulp Fiction
That $5 shake – The Jack Rabbit Slim’s in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction makes me wonder why we don’t have more of such restaurants. Having celebrity lookalikes like Elvis and Marilyn serve you your steak and chips sure look fun! Vincent (John Travolta) is incredulous when Mia (Uma Thurman), the boss’ wife, orders a $5 milkshake. Watch for his reaction when he tastes it.
Tallahesse and his Twinkie problem – A fun zombie movie should make it to this list somehow. In Zombieland, college student Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg, pre-Social Network fame) encounters Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), who is on a quest to find the last Twinkies on Earth. Does Tallahassee finally get his “spongy, yellow, delicious” Twinkie?
7. Mr. Bean
Bad, bad oysters – While not technically a movie, Mr. Bean does offer one of the most memorable food scenes on the small screen. The episode Mr. Bean In Room 426 has him checking in to a posh hotel, where he then proceeds to copy everything the other guy does at the restaurant. Hilarity ensues.
6. The Bucket List
What’s on your bucket list? – When you have two great actors like Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman together (not that way) through 90% of a movie, you know it’s going to be a pretty fine movie. They play two terminally ill patients who meet in the hospital, then escape to do a list of things before they kick the bucket. The Bucket List also introduced the world to kopi luwak.
One particular food scene has Nicholson eating prosciutto and melon, some Burata mozzarell’, and a veal Paillard from Giorgio Baldi as Freeman looks on.
5. The Polar Express
Dancing to hot chocolate – One of my favourite animated films, The Polar Express boasts a musical hot chocolate scene with Tom Hanks as the train conductor singing, the waiters dancing, and steaming hot chocolate shooting into cups. Great use of CGI animation.
More chocolate – Chocolate is the central theme of Chocolat. There is so much deliciousness in this movie, I didn’t know which Johnny Depp scene to pick! Here’s another decadent scene where Vianne sets up her chocolate patisserie and gets the townspeople secretly lusting for her luscious chocolate.
3. Amélie (French)
Dreams come true – Amélie is a whimsical, beautifully shot film, made better with the music of Yann Tiersen. The director did a spectacular job. The ending scene has Amélie baking and daydreaming that the love of her life, whom she’s too shy to face, walks in through her front door.
2. The Silence of the Lambs
Fava beans and Chianti – Despite appearing in The Silence of the Lambs for only 16 minutes, Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Having seen the movie over a dozen times, this immortal line uttered by the non-blinking Hannibal Lector still makes my skin crawl as though I’m hearing it for the first time. The slurping noise he makes was totally improvised!
1. The Gold Rush
Charlie Chaplin was a genius of a movie maker. His brilliant silent films transcend time and language. A century later, people are still very much enjoying his movies.
Shoelace spaghetti – In the 1925 film The Gold Rush, Chaplin, in his most famous role as the Tramp, is snowbound and stranded in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Starving, he boils one of his boots and serves it as the main course.
Table ballet – The same movie also produced one of cinema’s classic comedic moments as Chaplin performs table ballet with a pair of dinner rolls.
Bonus: Modern Times
Chaplin features food in many of his films, so here’s another favourite food scene from his work.
Automatic feeding machine – In his 1936 film Modern Times, which critiques capitalism and industrialisation, the Tramp works at a factory. In a hilarious scene, he is strapped into an automatic feeding machine designed to feed employees at their work stations and eliminate the need for a lunch break. Does it work as advertised?
What are your favourite movie food scenes? Share with us in the comments!