Friday, October 1, 2010
Dinner and a Movie: They Died With Their Boots On (1941)
They Died With Their Boots On (1941) is a biopic on General Custer. The screenplay is very VERY loosely based on fact. This film really is all about Errolivia, some tight pants, some big dresses, some guns, lots of onions, and Anthony Quinn in Native American dress. And let's not forget the other star of the show. The one that almost steals the spotlight from Errolivia! Sydney Greenstreet lights up the screen whenever he waltzes into a shot. I was particularly enamored by the scene in which Greenstreet, who plays Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, meets George Custer (Errol Flynn) for the first time. It takes place in a restaurant where Custer has just been served a plate of creamed Bermuda onions, a specialty of the house. Lt. Gn. Scott has been seated at the next table. Scott has a big appetite and orders double-rib sirloin, asparagus, potatoes au gratin, spiced pears and of course, his favorite, creamed Bermuda onions. But alas, they are out of creamed Bermuda onions! What's a man to do? Custer takes a stand, he likes to do that sort of thing, and offers up his plate of creamed Bermuda onions to Scott as a way to introduce himself to the Lt. Gn., get on his good side and perhaps use the opportunity to move up in ranks in the army. Custer and Scott have dinner together, bond over work and onions and the rest is movie-generated "history".
I decided to make the meal that Lieutenant General Scott ordered at the restaurant. However, double-rib sirloin would have made the meal a tad expensive, so I replaced it with good ole roasted chicken. And this is what the meal looked like! Chicken, with a generous helping of Green onions (Custer/Flynn LOVED his green onions), roasted asparagus with lemon zest, Potatoes au gratin and spiced pears poached in red wine. I also made a casserole of creamed pearl onions with breadcrumb topping. Carlos and I tried the onions and neither of us were terribly impressed. If we had encountered Sydney Greenstreet, we would have gladly offered him our plates of onions too!
If you'd like to make this entire dinner (or a portion of it), make sure you stop by my food blog, Thoughtful Eating, for the recipes.
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