Wednesday, April 11, 2012

OLDIES: Food-Related Films before 1980

Food in the 

     The 1980 and 1990s  brought us a plethora of food-related films.
They were smart and sophisticated with wonderful actors and mostly unique plots. In time that would change, as with the light fiction of the same decades.
Before the 1970s, food films were mainly a comical mix of misunderstandings, clumsiness (See Buster Keaton  (see Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, 1928) and his pratfalls. 

     Chaplin, however, showed a sophisticated understanding and critique of American life.  Mildrid Pierce was darkly serious and Feast at Zhurmunka is one of the USSR's first vehicles for a call for patriotism and self-sacrifice in a time of brutal warfare against the June1940 Nazi invasion of the USSR.  The events of Soylent Green could be less than a decade away, and the films of Luis Brunel, surreal and funny, concern people of France's upper class people attempting — despite interruptions and (social) inversions (A woman uses the toilet in front of her guests but dare not eat food in front of them)  — to carry on "normal" relations.

                 Chronological Filmography   (excerpt from
                              approximately 90 Titles)

Food-Related Films Before 1980                       

                 TITLE          DATE                        DIRECTOR           
Greed (Based on the novel McTeague by Frank Norris, 1899).
                                  1924               Erich von Stroheim

The Gold Rush, 1925  by Charles Chaplin

Modern Times, 1936  by Charles Chaplin

The Baker’s Wife, 1938  by Marcel Pagnol  (Based on the novel Blue Boy, (Jean le bleu, 1932) by Jean Ginono

Merrily We Live (MGM),1938 by Norman Z. McLeod       

Mildred Pierce, 1945 by Michael Curitz

Feast at Zhurmunka (in Russian), 1945 by Vsevolod Ilarianovich           Pudovkin (1893-1953)

The Hunters (documentary in Africa) 1949-56 by John Marshall

Our Man in Havana, 1959 (Adapted from the 1958 novel by Graham Greene)
directed by Carol Reed

Dinner for One (in German:The Ninetieth Birthday [Der Neunzigste Geburtstag]1963, by Freddie Frinton

Tom Jones, 1963 (Based on the novel by Henry Fielding, 1749)
                                                      by Tony Richardson

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, 1967 by Stanley Kramer

Women in Love,1969 by Ken Russell

Five Easy Pieces, 1970 by Bob Rafelson

Premium 1971  by Ed Ruscha