The Great Edward G.
Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, a trio of films which featured Mr. Edward G. Robinson.
1942’s Larceny Inc. has Edward G turning his frown upside down… well, sort of. The role of Pressure Maxwell gives Robinson a chance to show his prodigious comic chops. He reportedly took the role specifically to soften his tough guy image, which had accumulated over a series of gangster pics starring him as the bad man.
In this one, he is a freshly released ex-con who wants to go straight as a businessman. The bank refuses the loan he needs for seed money, so he says, “Well, I tried,” and starts a complicated plan to rob said institution. Hilarity naturally ensues. With support from the likes of Broderick Crawford, Jack Carson, Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason, it’s a standout picture, directed by Warner Brothers’ King of the Gangster films, Lloyd Bacon.
Let’s not overthink this pairing. Grab a bottle of Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It’s heavy on the wheat – like Pappy Van Winkle – but far easier on the wallet.
Key Largo is a film noir from that genre’s golden age, 1948. Robinson is back to the bullets here, playing a holed-up mobster during the hurricane that frames the action. His claim to be on a fishing trip doesn’t hold water for anybody. It brings to mind the old joke that wraps up with, “You didn’t come here to fish, didja?”
Just the words Key Largo summon images of the film’s tense standoff between Robinson and Humphrey Bogart. Unfortunately, it also dredges up memories of the pop song that was far too popular for a solid stretch of 1981. Where were A Flock of Seagulls when we really needed them?
It may be hard to imagine a winery in the Florida Keys, but Key’s Meads – on Key Largo – has mead, or honey wine, for the adventurous. Of course, honey is the last thing I would compare to Rocco, G’s horrific character in Key Largo. It may be easier to get your hands on a Largo Ridge wine, from up around Ukiah, CA.
The Hatchet Man came out in 1932, meaning it was “pre-code,” meaning the action included sex, drugs and a flying hatchet. It was also “pre-woke,” meaning it was okay for Edward G to play a Chinese dispenser of justice. Of course, that was just in the setup. For most of the movie, he plays a Chinese businessman.
Considering all the Chinese names in the character list, we are hard pressed to find one among the actors. It is reported that moviemakers back then didn’t want Americans who were playing Chinese people to be too close to actual Chinese, to prevent the audience from comparing the two.
Bury the Hatchet White comes from The Hatch, a British Columbia winery. It’s crisp and dry and also pairs well with chow mein.
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