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.
I visited my friends and relatives in the San Francisco Bay Area over the holidays in November and December of 2014, and of the many restaurants and bars I frequented during my stay, one of my favorites turned out to be Waterbar on the bay almost underneath the San Francisco Bay Bridge. As you can see from the photo, the views from just about everywhere in the bar and restaurant are spectacular. I was impressed with the variety of spirits they have on hand, and since I was in San Francisco I had to have a classic martini (gin, vermouth, orange bitters) made with a gin distilled right there on the wharf, No. 209. I had a number of them while I watched the light show on the bridge!