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Favorite Food films (or just great scenes from otherwise un-foodie movies that involve food)

Just throwing this up against the wall to see what sticks.
(Kind of like Walter Matthau in "The Odd Couple" when he did away with that plate of linguini, only, in this case, hopefully less wasteful)

Bear in mind that, when I say "food movie", I'm certainly referring to movies that, for the most part, feature food as the main attraction, such as "Tampopo", "Big Night" and "Eat Drink Man Woman".

That said, I would also include movies, such as "Diner", that, while not obsessing over an actual dish, have a lot to say about the ritual of sitting down to eat with someone.

Like I mentioned, feel free to mention scenes from movies that might other wise not be food obsessed, such as the amazing "are they eating or having sex" scene in "Tom Jones".

I would ask you all to ponder a few things before tallying your lists:
-which film, or films, made you hungriest?
-which taught you something about a particular food, or recipe, that you never knew before?
-which film, or scene, came closest (mind you, without completely succeeding) to putting you off of a certain food?

Anyhow, I look forward to reading your reactions. I'm sure - as is my hope - that some of you will hit me with stuff out of left field.

By the way, documentaries are certainly included. Why not?

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  1. I would say Tampopo has the most sensuous images of food: the noodles, the raw egg.

      1. re: OCAnn

        I kind of figured new post= opinions from new Chowhounds. I didn't realize that there was a one post limit per topic.

        My favorite scene was the feast scene in Hook with Robin William. Although the Lost Boys were only pretending that the colourful gunk that they were eating was food, I enjoyed watching them imagine their way to a table covered in all sorts of sweets and meats.

      2. Here are two that I haven't seen mentioned too much.

        The extras scene in Spanglish, when Thomas Keller shows Adam Sandler how to make "The World's Best Sandwich."

        The infamous burrito scene in Desparate Housewives.

        Lonely Planet's documentary of the weirdest foods in the world. Anyone remember the name?

        1. Tortilla Soup and Big Night made me the hungriest, and taught me a lot about (respectively) Mexican and Italian cuisine. I still can't make risotto without thinking of that scene with Tony Shaloub and Stanley Tucci.

          And after seeing Spanglish, I also couldn't wait to recreate Thomas Keller's late night sandwich, complete with a tall beer.

          On the other hand, after watching The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, it was a long while before I could eat salmon again without conjuring up the grand finale of that one.

          2 Replies
          1. re: djh

            I've been waiting for someone to mention that film. My, that had some powerful images...

            1. re: jillp

              Wow!!! That is such a classic at home. All the scenes in the truck or in the huge kitchen... JUST GREAT!

          2. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe. I actually went out and had some.


            1 Reply
            1. re: TexasToast

              I adored that movie - and the book as well - but sadly I have yet to eat one of those tomatoes.

            2. Like Water for Chocolate


              Seems Like Old Times
              (I still have never tried Chicken Pepperoni..does it exist?)

              1. "Dinner Rush", IMHO the best depiction of the restaurant business EVER and a cool Mafia sub-plot to boot.

                2 Replies
                1. Mostly Martha......great film about food, love, and loving food. Foreign film.

                  1. Great Food scene from a non-food movie:

                    Jack Nickolson trying to order some wheat toast in a diner.
                    "Five Easy Pieces" (1975).


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JBC

                      And how about - James Cagney grinding a half grapefruit into Joan Blondell's face - The Public Enenmy (1931)


                      This posting here could go on, and on, and on, and on...........

                    2. Goodfellas has a couple of good ones...

                      Henry and the guys are in prison and they're cooking up some steaks, pasta and sauce

                      Henry cooking his sauce for a family dinner while the feds are circling the house above

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mamamia

                        The prison scene was most excellent... how pauly shaved the garlic w/ a razor...

                      2. Last scene of Big Night.
                        One brother, in silence, making omelettes for him and his brother. There's incredible power in the silence.

                        1. the french toast scene from "Ordinary People."

                          1. leave the gun...take the cannolis
                            -pete clemenza

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: byrd

                              Pete also taught Mikey Corleone how to cook gravy for a large group when the guys go to the matresses. You gotta have the pork, it's all about flavor. Byrd, Anthony Bourdain did a version of the cannoli scene on No Reservations, with Mario Batalli playing Clemenza, and Bourdain as the unfortunate Paulie, left with a warm gun and no cannolis. Holy crap, (edit), I just realized I responded to a post from 2006.

                            2. 1) Big Night - I went to a recreation of this dinner at a local restaurant this year.
                              2) The scene in Auberge Espagnole where the vegetarian mother makes steak for her son. It looks so disgusting. I love that. I also love it cause being raised there, I can certainly attest to some pretty bad French cooking. It's not all Le Cordon Bleu.
                              3) Babette's Feast seems classic to me.
                              4) Waiting - This movie is hysterical for those of us that have worked in a kitchen.
                              5) The sandwich scene in when Harry met Sally.
                              6) The restaurant scenes in Italian for Beginners (Italiensk for begyndere).
                              7) The mini-entree scene in L.A. Story - this sums up my feelings on some of the trends in restaurants.
                              8) The diner scene in Grosse Pointe Blank

                              1. The Freshman - where Marlon Brando parodies himself from the Godfather. He's running a scam based on serving high end diners endangered species (for instance, a komodo dragon)...

                                1. Stand By Me. Pie eating contest with Lardass.

                                  1. Favorite TV show moment - Babu's Dream Cafe in first season of Seinfeld - the restaurants serves Mexican, Chinese, and Italian food - but not Pakistani food.

                                    1. There's a scene in Moonstruck when Olympia Dukakis is making breakfast by frying an egg inside a slice of Italian bread. This is strangely familiar and comforting to me even though I don't recall anyone ever having made this for me. In retrospect, there are many scenes in this movie that involve food that seem to invoke emotions from me. What a great director.

                                      1. Here's a GREAT food movie that no one's ever heard of: "The God of Cookery". It is directed by Stephen Chow who later made "Shaolin Soccer".

                                        The God of Cookery might be thought of as Kung Fu Cooking or Shaolin Soccer meets Iron Chef. Here is the plot synopsis from Amazon:

                                        "The God of Cookery, a brilliant chef who sits in judgement of those who would challenge his title, loses his title when a jealous chef reveals him to be a con-man and humiliates him publicly. As this new chef takes on the God of Cookery's role, the former God tries to pull himself back on top again, to challenge his rival and find once and for all who is the true God of Cookery."

                                        and the link: http://www.amazon.com/God-Cookery-Ste...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Uptown Dave

                                          I think I saw this one a long time ago... was a romantic comedy surrounding an iron chef type of competition. But very interesting...

                                          Anyone seen episodes of Da Chang Jin (Chinese name for the Korean show about a woman who cooked in the palace)? Now THAT really made my mouth water every night.

                                        2. ‘Pie In The Sky‘, this isn’t a movie but a TV show. It was about detective and gourmand Henry Crabe. The man would like nothing more to retire and cook. He opens a restaurant only to find his guaranteed early retirement revoked. He finds ways to both cook solve crimes and source local products. The extremely talented Richard Griffiths is in the lead role of Crabe.

                                          It is a well written, beautifully shot. Series. The cooking segments are wonderfully done. The series is about ten years old. And occasionally pops up on various PBS stations.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Withnail42

                                            Some of the episodes are available on Netflix. I enjoyed the 3 DVDs. The final one has an interview with the actress who plays Crabbe's wife. She explains how and where the food was made. She notes that the recipes were very good ones and that many viewers clamored for a cookbook, but this was never done. Crabbe has a true Chowhound heart. On the way to investigate a murder, he is sorely tempted to have his driver pull over when he sees a sign for pick your own berries. Though crime is a theme, there is next to no actual violence depicted - the series is suitable for family viewing.

                                            1. re: greygarious

                                              Cheers Greygarious. I will have to check Netfilx out.

                                              Love to find that DVD set.

                                          2. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal at Katz's deli. I have had many corned beef sandwiches but none of them have ever affected them that way.

                                            The restaurant scene in Flashdance. I always wanted to recreate the sexual innuendo with lobster, but I am too shy.

                                            1. I'm a noodle fanatic, so I'm going to suggest a foreign film--Tampopo. It's a Japanese film, with very weird filming. There are a few storylines, and some are more weird than others, but I very much like the main one, which talks of a woman who's struggling to make her noodle joint survive. Oh, and you cant get through this movie without food. I dare ya. Especially food that you can slurp with.

                                              1. Tortilla--just saw it on DVD, great Mexican food scenes. Last Holiday--has many food scenes.

                                                1. Two come to mind, of course not mentioning the films that everyone has already commented on and I agree with.

                                                  First, the dinner party scene in "Age of Innocence" with all those perfect Victorian courses;

                                                  Second, the dinner scene in "Peter's Friends" with the wines, roast beast, Yorkshire puddings, and that divine-looking mushroom bisque.

                                                  1. OK sorry not a movie but Whites with Alan Davies. Very funny and very english. You can see it on Hulu

                                                    1. I just saw 'The Way' with Martin Sheen. A terrific all round film. The film is not about food. But there are some great scenes where they partake in local meals and celebrations.

                                                      Joost, one of characters, is on the walk to lose weight. But he is such a fan of the local food, which he talks about in detail he actually manages to gain weight during a 500 mile hike. He initial connections with Sheen's character revolve around food.

                                                      1. Marlon Brando, the butter and his female companion in Last Tango in Paris.