One of the finest examples of cocktails enhancing a film is writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1950 masterpiece All About Eve. The story of a Broadway legend, the people in her orbit, and the ruthless newcomer she takes under her wing, it stands out as one of the finest films ever made about the Broadway theater. A crackling script lets the larger than life Bette Davis rip and tear into everyone and everything around her, aided almost always by a steady stream of Martinis and Champagne. Whether it’s at a birthday party at her penthouse, or dinner at the exclusive Cub Room inside the Stork Club, cocktails are an essential prop for Miss Davis’ character Margo Channing – much like a cigar was an essential prop for George Burns.
Perhaps no other single film has done more for popularizing a single cocktail than the delightfully effervescent “Thin Man” film series (or ‘franchise’). Based on characters created by Dashiell Hammett, the first film in the franchise is an adaptation of his bestselling novel “The Thin Man,” first published in 1934 in the magazine Redbook. The film was released the same year, and became an instant hit. Although it was the last novel Hammett would write, it spawned 5 film sequels.
Las Vegas, January 11, 1951 – The US Department of Energy establishes the Nevada Proving Ground (now known as the Nevada Test Site) 65 miles northwest of the city for the testing of nuclear devices. Little was known about the effects of nuclear blasts at the time, and above ground, or atmospheric, testing was seen as a necessary step towards the development of our atomic future. Mushroom clouds from these tests could be seen for almost 100 miles, especially from the glamorous hotels and casinos along Fremont Street. Continue reading The Atomic Cocktail
Cocktails have played a part in motion pictures since the very beginning, over 100 years ago now. Cocktails can serve many purposes: they can establish a characters background and up bringing, add sophistication or lack of it, say something about the characters social status, become a characters weakness or crutch, add humor to a scene or heartbreak.
Glendale, California 1951 – Earl “Madman” Muntz begins production of what he calls the Muntz Jet, a re-branding of Frank Kurtis’s two seater sports car, the Kurtis Kraft Sport. Muntz, a fixture in Southern California widely known for his ‘Madman’ persona and flamboyant, groundbreaking television commercials, had started out selling used cars in 1934.