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.
Eggs have been an integral ingredient in cocktails for at least the last two hundred years. They add a silky frothiness, and body that a cocktail wouldn’t have otherwise. The reason the egg was removed from many cocktails in the last few decades was from some bad publicity. At some point in time it was stated that “eating raw eggs could lead to serious illness from salmonella.”
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.