I don’t have five, or even one, vegetable movie in mind as I write this. I’m hoping that inspiration will strike as I go.
But first, the rules:
– No movies about vegtables in the shape of phalli.
– No movies named in a spirit of unkinditude or bad taste, such as Talk to Her (2002).
– Herbs don’t count, ruling out that Argentinian movie about the guy who has a heart attack, retires, grows lavender, and, spoiler, has another heart attack.
– Movies about fruits are ok.
– I’m ruling out movies about gourds. It has to be a vegetable or fruit that you can eat.
– No Van Gogh movies on the basis of sunflowers and the fact that you can eat their seeds. This also rules out major-league baseball movies, where ballplayers eat lots of sunflower seeds these days, instead of chewing tobacco.
– No animated vegetables. This disqualifies It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966).
– No talking vegetables, including Dustin Hoffman as a tomato, regardless of his motivation. Hoffman, back before he moved into his 70s and has to take what Mick LaSalle calls twinkly parts.
– Sadly, cheese isn’t a vegetable.
– I haven’t seen Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978), but I’ll bet that if I had, it wouldn’t make my list. I have seen Children of the Corn (1984) (just the first of the many). It doesn’t make it either. And I haven’t seen King Corn (2007).
– No movies where a green alien is a vegetable, like in the original The Thing (1951). You’ve got to eat it; it can’t eat you. This rules out The Little Shop of Horrors (1960).
– No movies that just have vegetables or fruits in the title, like Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) and The Cocoanuts (1929).
– No movies about a big meal, of which there are too many to bother getting specific.
– Soup isn’t a vegetable.
– The vegtable can be cooked or raw.
– Please, no famines.
So, my list:
1. Mr. Majestyk (1974) – It’s about melons. Charles Bronson grows them and he has to break a few of the other kind in the course of the movie. Elmore Leonard wrote it; I hope that you’re enjoying Justifed. The great Al Lettieri is the bad guy in Majestyk; you may recall him from The Getaway (1972), doing his thang thang with Sally Struthers. Al Lettieri, dead at 47 from a heart attack… There was a time when Bronson was making some fine movies. The Mechanic (1972), though, not so much, because of the bummer ending and the fact that it made me hate Jan-Michael Vincent after seeing it.
2. The Secret of the Grain (2007) (Le graine et le mulet) – Old Algerian in Sète, France, wants to open a restaurant selling cous cous and mullet. Cous cous, being pasta, isn’t strictly a vegetable, but I’m giving it a pass. Great movie till it runs out of steam at the end.
3. The movie about the young German woman from Norway who immigrates to… Minnesota? Wisconsin? after the war and meets a guy. The two of them harvest a zillion acres of corn, barehanded, in a couple of days. Or maybe I misremember.
4. Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) – Tell me that the oil was made out of some vegetable or other. I wasn’t that crazy about the movie, but now I only need one more to be done.
5. Damn. I thought of one and now I’ve forgotten it… Hmm… Oh, yes. The one by a woman, long-time filmmaker, a documentary, about folks who go out after a harvest and scavenge from the fields. French. The somebodyorothers.
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