Friday, April 9, 2021

Blood Of The Vines - George Segal Week

Pairing‌‌‌ ‌‌‌wine‌‌‌ ‌‌‌with‌‌‌ ‌‌‌movies since 2011!‌‌‌  ‌‌‌See‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌hear‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌fascinating‌‌‌ ‌‌‌commentary‌‌‌ ‌‌‌for‌‌‌ ‌‌‌these‌‌‌ ‌‌‌‌‌movies‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌many‌‌‌ ‌‌‌more‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌at‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌From‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Hell.‌‌‌  This week, we fondly remember some of George Segal's work after his recent passing.

In 1972's The Hot Rock, Segal got second billing to Robert Redford in the story of a diamond heist which keeps going south, showing that even the best-laid plans can always blow up in your face.  Take the making of this movie, for example.  The critics thought it was good, but not great.  The director, Peter Yates, said that despite an interesting story and a wonderful cast, the butts just didn’t get into the seats.  Go figure.

As a tribute to the movie, punk rockers Sleater-Kinney named one of their albums after it, although I feel "Afghanistan banana stand" would have been a better name.  At least it would have been more memorable.

For The Hot Rock, let's pair 19 Crimes wine with the film, since it seems like the band of criminals needed 19 chances to pull off their heist.  SoCal imbibers should note that the wine company has debuted a line of Snoop wines, Cali Red and Cali Rosé.  The latter looks a lot like gin and juice.

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf was the most decorated film of 1966, nominated for 13 Academy Awards, winning five of the statues.  Wikipedia notes that it was the first time a film's entire credited cast was nominated for Oscars.  Alas, Segal didn't take one home for Best Supporting Actor.

Billed as an evening of fun and games at George and Martha's, the fun was booze and the games were psychological Russian roulette.  Segal's Nick has some drunken bedtime with Elizabeth Taylor's Martha, but probably ends up wishing he hadn't.  Martha was not impressed.

Virginia Woolf herself didn’t like wine, saying it has "a drastic, an astringent taste. I cannot help wincing as I drink."  The Virginia Woolf Cocktail - gin and lemonade - sounds completely insubstantial.  Leave out the kid stuff and grab the strongest gin you can find for Virginia Woolf.  The Swedish Strane Uncut clocks in at 76% alcohol - not proof, percentage - making it reportedly the one gin in the world with the most powerful kick.  Rubbing alcohol for you, Martha?  Never mix, never worry.

The 1967 retelling of The St. Valentine's Day Massacre put Segal co-starring with Jason Robards.  It was a Roger Corman film, with Corman getting a bigger budget to work with than he ever had with the horror pictures that made him.  Corman promised the public the most accurate gangster film ever, and delivered it in docudrama fashion with the great Paul Frees doing the narration.  Segal plays one of Bugs Moran's goons and is one of the "seven against the wall" who don’t make it to the end credits.  

America's shameful prohibition of alcohol was still in its 13-year run when the massacre took place, so a speakeasy cocktail might be in order to pair with this film.  Just shake up some scotch, rum and sparkling wine with a dab of jelly - and keep an eye out for the coppers.  Or, you can shop for some Big House Prohibition Red.  Who cares which grapes are in it?  The Al Capone imagery on the bottle - or box - is reason enough to pair it with Massacre.

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