Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we are letting the turmoil of the holidays get to us, with another hodgepodge of movies that probably escaped your attention. Let us inform you, hopefully while entertaining you.
The Steagle is a 1971 comedy starring Richard Benjamin. He plays a mild-mannered professor who uses the angst of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 to justify a cross-country road trip in which he out-Mittys Walter Mitty. He stops in several cities on his way from New York to Hollywood and lives out a different fantasy in each one.
The critical response to this forgotten film ranged from “genius” to “trash,” and most agree there is a bit of both to the movie. By the way, the movie’s title refers to an NFL team during the 1943 season. WWII took so many football players for the war effort that in Pennsylvania the Steelers and the Eagles actually merged for the year, becoming the Steagles and earning a place in sports trivia.
It’s a reach, but you could pair a German radler beer from Stiegl with The Steagle. A radler sounds like a shandy – a beer and lemonade concoction – and the pronunciation of Stiegl is probably all wrong. Let’s score a touchdown with former Eagles head coach, Dick Vermeil. He took the Eagles to the big game the year after the Steelers went. He now makes Wine in Napa Valley, fulfilling his daydream.
1970’s Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker is shortened to simply Pigeons in some places, to the great joy of headline writers everywhere. It’s a movie about a rude taxi driver who kicks pigeons in the park. Rudeness we can abide in a taxi driver, but let the birds be, dude. They just walk around on their disfigured little feet, picking at cigarette butts in the dirt. They don’t need you kicking them, too.
The movie is a comedy, which centers on a guy who has taken disillusionment to another level. You think Richard Benjamin had trouble in The Steagle? This taxi driver’s fantasy is to be a truck driver. Honk when you’re happy.
Portland, Oregon’s Clay Pigeon Winery has a Syrah called Croze, after the Croze-Hermitage region of the northern Rhône Valley. It has a fistful of flavor and will pair well with pigeon, if you so desire.
The Working Man carries its laughs in deception and mistaken identity. The 1933 film concerns two rival shoe manufacturing companies and the various charades put on by George Arliss and Bette Davis. They get most of the credit for adding their prodigious talents to an otherwise lightweight effort. What happens when the boss man becomes a working man? Well, hilarity ensues.
There was once a working man’s wine fountain for the 15th century shipbuilders of Venice. It poured wine continuously, all day, which was carried in buckets to the workers. The wine figured out to two and a half liters a day for each man, leading one to wonder how any ships ever got built.
A working man’s beverage these days may be beer or bourbon, but we’re giving this movie a wine, just like those shipbuilders except it’s not free and it doesn’t run all the time. Washington state’s Kana Winery makes their Workingman’s Red for everyone, employed or not. They spin the wheel and come up with seven international grapes for the blend – Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Counoise, Cinsault, Tempranillo and Barbera, in case you’re interested.