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 remember three movies which featured Ned Beatty, who passed away recently.
One of the most successful films of 1972 was Deliverance, directed by John Boorman. Ned Beatty played one of the less experienced of four thrill seekers who got tired of “walkin’ ‘round Atlanta in their alligator shoes” and decided to get out of their man caves and raft down a Georgia river. Well, Ned’s character got experienced real quick. The infamous “squeal like a pig” scene is one that nobody seemed to like, but it’s the one thing everybody remembers about the movie.
The Georgia setting may have you wondering which was worse, the heat or the humidity, but the wine could save the day. Georgia’s Tiger Mountain Vineyards produces quite an array of really good wines, including bottlings of the Norton, Tannat and Petit Manseng grapes.
Robert Altman’s Nashville caused quite a stir in 1975. Critics praised it up and down as an insightful look at American politics through the lens of country music. Then, complaints started rolling in about the film’s cynicism. Really? How would one combine American politics with country music without a heapin’ helpin’ of cynicism?
Ned Beatty’s redneck lawyer Delbert Reese is a role that was right up his alley. If you’re taking a cynical look at American politics and country music, you’d better have a lawyer handy – the smarmier the better.
Tennessee’s Grinder’s Switch Winery now has a tasting room in Nashville. They seem fairly sincere – no cynicism on the menu – when they offer their grape wines mixed with the juice of other fruit, like blackberries and elderberries.
Network in 1976 brought cynicism to a higher status. A man was killed because he got lousy ratings – how cynical can it get? Beatty put a fine point on it as TV exec Arthur Jensen, who screams at Howard Beale – one angry man to another – that he won’t stand for Beale meddling “with the primal forces of nature.” The role brought Beatty his only Oscar nomination. When he rattled off a list of big American corporations as the new “nations of the world,” I believed him.
It’s been reported that theaters which show Network these days are sometimes throwing a party featuring a Mad As Hell cocktail – Bulleit Bourbon, Kings Ginger Liqueur, Cochi Americano vermouth and a dash of lemon juice and sugar. As my neighborhood bartender used to say before he couldn’t take it anymore, “schlagers!”