EPISODE 231: Noir Bar
CLIP Would you like a gin and tonic? That’d be nice. We have whiskey. That would be even nicer.
Get ready for some intoxicating cocktails as well as hard drinking as TCM Noir Alley host Eddie Muller invites you to the Noir Bar.
Cinema Junkie The Theme bump 1 (drums)
BETH ACCOMANDO Welcome back to listener supported KPBS Cinema Junkie, I'm Beth Accomando.
Cinema Junkie The Theme bump 1 (Horns)
BETH ACCOMANDO Eddie Muller is known as the Czar of Noir. But he began his working career as a bartender and still knows how to serve up a mean cocktail perfectly suited to the seductive and shadowy world of film noir. His latest book, Noir Bar Cocktails Inspired by the World of Film Noir , is designed as a drinking companion for anyone taking a deep dive into the nether world of film noir. The book serves up a tempting menu of classic cocktails, noir inspired libations and drinks crafted by Muller himself. So whether you want something elegant like a champagne cocktail or plain and simple like a boilermaker Noir Bar has it.
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CLIP Can we dispense with the polite drinking?
Yes, because you might want to pour yourself a stiff one right now. I interviewed Eddie Muller a few weeks ago and I have to say our mood and tone were far more jovial than it might have been if we had talked a few days ago. That’s because in the interim Warner Brothers Discovery’s CEO David Zaslav gutted TCM by removing key executives including senior vice president of programming Charles Tabesh.
Tabesh was responsible for all content and amazing curation on TCM. He is the incredible and innovative person who helped define the channel’s eclectic and effervescent film programming for more than 2 decades. By the time you listen to this, there might even be more changes and cuts that impact my beloved TCM. There might also be news that Zaslav has changed his mind and reinstated Tabesh – which I hope can happen. But the future of TCM just feels uncertain.
There’s been a hashtag save tcm campaign on social media and Hollywood heavyweights such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Paul Thomas Anderson made a call to Zaslav to express their love for TCM and to try and secure its future.
I point this out because TCM is something unique that needs to be cherished and protected. The fact that its future has been placed in jeopardy is just heartbreaking. I will include information in the show info on Cinema Junkie for ways that you can voice your support for TCM.
But to counter that upsetting news, I do have a gorgeous 150 proof book to highlight and a tasty interview with Eddie Muller to share. I need to take a quick break so seize the moment to pour yourself a drink as you wait for the Noir Bar to open.
CLIP I take it straight
MIDROLL 1 [currently at 03:00:00]
BETH ACCOMANDO Welcome back to Cinema Junkie. I’m Beth Accomando and I am about to discuss one of my favorite things, film noir, with one of my favorite people, Eddie Muller host of TCM’s Noir Alley. I am not surprised that Eddie has a new book on something noir but in his introduction to Noir Bar he reveals that he was once a bartender. So I wanted more details about his brief career serving drinks.
EDDIE MULLER I had to figure out some way to actually make a living because as I'm sure you know, if all you want to do is write, it can be difficult to get your legs under you and you have to adopt survival mode when you're young. So I did. I went to bartending school. I thought I could get a good gig working in like, hotels or something like that. So you had to know how to make a lot of cocktails. It was a short lived excursion into that world, to be honest with you. I mean, I did it for a while, but I wasn't working in very nice places. I got tired of people drinking too much. But I certainly did learn how to make a bunch of different cock. It was a weird time, Beth. That was in the 1970s and it was like the cocktail revival had not happened at all. So you were really making drinks for older people and young people were smoking weed. They weren't drinking cocktails.
BETH ACCOMANDO And how did that experience possibly color your appreciation for noir or give you a different kind of insight to some of those scenes?
EDDIE MULLER I always had the appreciation for noir, regardless of how I might have been making my living. But I have certainly seen things in bar rooms that will confirm your worst instincts about humanity, as you might find in a film noir. It's ridiculous to me how many people I have had confess to me their plans to commit crimes in bars. I mean, it's it's weird whether I mean, once when I was working at the bar, but then just sitting at bars, I've had multiple occasions where people have told me what horrible crimes they are going to commit. And I and I tell them, you know, the first thing you have to realize is you're going to fail at this, so don't even attempt it because you've failed the most crucial test of all. You just blabbed about this to a complete stranger before you did it. So I don't think whatever you're conceiving here is going to work. And I'm telling you, Beth, this happened to me, like, within the last six months. Guy in a bar who clearly had suffered through something, and I'm the guy who asked the questions. In addition to being a bartender, I was a journalist. So it's like, I will ask the question, if I see somebody sitting at a bar who clearly has suffered some damage, I will ask, how'd that happen? And then all bets are off after that.
BETH ACCOMANDO So how did this particular book come about? You've written a number of books on noir, and I know you love a good cocktail and a good noir. So how did this particular book come about for TCM?
EDDIE MULLER I'm going to confess something to you. It really was not my idea. As weird as that. In some ways, I now see it as like the inevitable book. Like it was inevitable this book would exist. But I'm giving full credit to my editor at Running Press who was responsible for The Republication of Dark City the Lost World of Film Noir. The revised and expanded edition. Cindy, my editor, said, well, that turned out great. What do we want to do for an encore? And I was thinking about some big projects and things, and she just said, how would you feel about doing a cocktail book? Because we've had a lot of success with those. That was the genesis of it. And it also kind of grew out of COVID obviously, since so many people were trapped at home. I guess at home bars became quite a thing. And I started doing little videos, YouTube videos to tie in because I was shooting my show at home rather than take all the equipment down. After shooting episodes for Nor Alley, I made some Cocktail videos. So when Cindy said, can you put together a proposal for this book? I said, Here, I'll just give you a link to the Cocktail videos. And then everybody at the publisher looked at those videos and said, we should just do a book. Let's do that.
BETH ACCOMANDO And when you decided to write this, tell people kind of like, what the approach was and what they can expect to find in this book, it was.
EDDIE MULLER To me, it was exactly like programming a film festival. It's like you want to find the right balance. But in this case, I knew that it was like a movie paired with a cocktail. And I didn't want to get too precious about this, but I know that people who watch Noir Alley, it's become sort of destination TV. And so people, like, they like to watch it when it's on. And there's a social media aspect for a lot of people where they check in. Hey, it's Saturday night. It's out here on the west coast. It's 09:00. It's like 09:00 checking in for this week's episode. What are you drinking? And so I noticed that a lot of people were doing that. So I said, oh, okay, so this makes good sense. We'll just tie certain drinks in with the movies. And it could be any number of things that nudged my decision making. It could be that the Cocktail was actually consumed in the movie, like The Pearl Diver and The Blue Gardenia is very important to the plot.
CLIP To achieve a mermaid's downfall, we begin with a seductive rum that insidiously lulls. I think I'll stick to Pearl Divers.
EDDIE MULLER Stingers in the Big clock. Ray milan. It's like they make a big deal out of it in the movie, or it could be doing my research to figure out what a certain personality's favorite cocktail was or a drink that was named for someone. Like, there was a Joan Blondell cocktail created in Havana in the 1930s, and she only made one noir film, Nightmare Alley, but we included that one, and it's one of the better cocktails in the book. Actually, we modified it. It was modified from the original recipe, but close enough that we still maintain that Joan Blondell was the inspiration for it.
CLIP You know what's the trouble with you? You've got figures in your blood. Instead of red corpuscles, you are scratched entering the human race. I can prove it. Do you ever hit a man? No. Do you ever love a woman? Never. Did you ever get drunk and get thrown out in your ear? Certainly not. Would you have a wicked or didn't you ever want to be wicked? Never. Have you had any fun at all? I haven't had time. Well, we're going to have some fun tonight.
BETH ACCOMANDO You also offer a lot of help to those of us who may not have a fully stocked bar and all the right equipment. The book also includes lists of ingredients and other tips. So what drove you to kind of, like, make this a really kind of comprehensive book?
EDDIE MULLER Well, because I have an at home bar. I have several at home bars, to be quite honest. And so I knew what was involved in creating a bar where you can just say, well, what am I going to drink now? And you could have a wide variety of choice, and I didn't want it to be too precious. There are some things about cocktail culture that I absolutely love, and I'm so glad it's made a comeback. But then I don't take it as far as some people, where it's like artisan cocktails and everything has twelve ingredients, and the rarest of this and that I get that. That's for people who take cocktails the way I take film. Right. It's like, I have to find that last one. You have to be a completeist I'm not really like that with cocktails. So I just thought it would be very helpful for people who maybe you're just getting started in this to understand. Like, you just need these simple tools, the mineral spirits and the liqueurs and the fortified wines and the mixers and the juices. These are like the basics that will set you up so you can pretty much make anything that anybody wants when they come over. That's the idea. And also, I wanted it to be a little more informal because I want people to understand that they'll develop their own tastes. If they haven't been drinking for 20 years or something, you can very early on, you'll figure out what agrees with you and what doesn't. Some people can't drink tequila. Some people don't like scotch. Whatever. I encourage people to figure out what appeals to them and then learn how to use that to mix cocktails with other ingredients.
BETH ACCOMANDO I was really happy to see that I could probably make a lot of these without a whole lot of trouble. And that's a lot of fun. I mean, that makes it way more accessible than if it was complicated. Cocktail mixes and stuff.
EDDIE MULLER Exactly. And I very much encourage people to drink whatever you buy to make cocktails with. Drink it straight just to understand what it is. Like, have a little shot glass of it straight so you understand what it is and then how it mixes with other things. And then you can just play around after that. I mean, there is no huge mistake. You'll see the patterns pretty clearly once you start making cocktails. You understand that everything's a derivation of a Manhattan martini and old fashioned and Negroni. These are basic things. And then if you use a mix to make a highball or something soda, tonic, ginger ale, they all have a certain taste and whatever appeals to you, that's what you should make your staple cocktail. Right.
BETH ACCOMANDO The book also looks absolutely gorgeous. I mean, I was expecting there to be good drinks and good selections of films, but there are beautiful color photos of posters and you pull out quotes from films. So when you were putting this together, what kind of work went into finding all that stuff and deciding what was exactly kind of the best way to present each film?
EDDIE MULLER No, that was the most fun because picking The Cocktails, sometimes I picked them because I knew it would make a great photo spread like, oh, this will be great because how will we show this Cocktail? Because I think about 27 of the 50 Cocktails get a glamour shot. They get their own George Harrell photograph of the cocktail. Right. We stage them with props that will remind people of the films. And that was one of the things I really enjoyed about this project, was just putting that all together so that I think the hardcore fans of these movies, when they look at the photos of the Cocktails, we try to put nice little clues in there. Things that pertain to the movies. Like if you see there's an Angel Face Cocktail that's actually a traditional cocktail from the Prohibition era. And I pair it, obviously, with the Robert Mitchum Gene Simmons movie angel face. But you'll notice that in the picture we show of the Cocktail, it's on a bar with a cocktail napkin with a note written from Gene Simmons character to Mitchum's character. You see the Jaguar keychain because she drives that fabulous little Jaguar convertible in the film. And so if you've seen the movie, you know that nothing good is going to come. This it's such a noir thing. It looks so romantic in the picture, like the Cocktail, the keys to the car. But if you've seen the movie. You know, that that's a very noir moment. It's not going to go well.
BETH ACCOMANDO I feel like I need to get two copies of the book, like one for my coffee table and then one that I'll actually use to make the drinks because I tend to be messy and I feel like I need two of those.
EDDIE MULLER I consider it the highest compliment. If the book is all stained and water logged, it's a working book. But I do want to give special note to the people who actually made the book so special production director is a woman named Francis Su Ping Chow, and she is the one who brought in an old colleague of hers, Paul Keppel. Paul is responsible for how great the book looks. And Steve Legato was the photographer who took all the great cocktail photos. And a young woman named Kelsey Windmillder was the prop stylist, which is very important. I actually made the cocktails that you see in the book. I was actually in Paul studio making the cocktails. It was great fun. We did all that in the course of three days. Kelsey, like, staged it with the backdrops and the props just so there are a lot of little tricks to getting the smoke in certain things and making sure that those garnishes hang just so on the cocktail glass. Right. So was a genius.
Ok time to freshen up that drink as I take one final break before coming back to the Noir Bar for the rest of my interview with TCM Noir Alley host Eddie Muller.
MIDROLL 1 [currently at 17:44:06]
CLIP Hey, you never used to drink it straight like that. I've learned how these last few months. I've learned a lot of things. Like, for instance, like, for instance, that's rotten liquor. There's better stuff to drink at the beach house, Wally.
BETH ACCOMANDO Welcome back to Noir Bar oh I mean Cinema Junkie. I’m Beth Accomando Mildred Pierce wasn’t fond of that cheap bar when she had a far better liquor at home. Eddie Muller’s new book Noir Bar takes us from cheap bars to fancy nightclubs, elegant parties, as well as hotel and home bars. As you read through the book and enjoy the stunning photos and poster art you are struck the fact that there’s more drinking than murder in film noir, and that’s saying something.
EDDIE MULLER Absolutely. It even surprised me a little bit when I started doing the research. Like, most of these photographs are things I've just collected over the years. And when I started looking for this stuff, it was like, wow, there is a lot of drinking going on in these movies. Nightclub drinking, which is great because it's so stylish and it looks so beautiful. And of course, then there's real noir drinking where they're not really in a cocktail lounge and they're not drinking cocktails, they're just pouring it down. That's Sterling Hayden in the asphalt jungle.
CLIP Why don't you quit crying and give me some bourbon?
EDDIE MULLER But we do have an asphalt cocktail. And that's another example of how I'd made decisions on this. There was a cocktail that I was very familiar with created, I don't know, like 20 years ago, called a left hand. It's a derivation of a Manhattan, but slightly different. And I just knew as soon as I saw that. It's like, well, this is the cocktail for The Asphalt Jungle because Louis Kelhern has that great line, after all, crime.
CLIP Is only a left handed form of human endeavor.
EDDIE MULLER It's like the most famous quote from the movie. And so as soon as I had a left hand cocktail, I said, we have to find some way to have this in tribute to The Asphalt Jungle.
BETH ACCOMANDO And do you happen to have a favorite pairing in this book?
EDDIE MULLER The favorite of the cocktails that I created for the book? I say, like, 20% of the Cocktails I actually created myself. Inspired by the movie, I created one called The Lady From Shanghai that I thought was just really fantastic. And if there was a cocktail in the book that I thought, well, this one could actually be on a lot of bar programs. Let's see if this book is successful. Who knows? Maybe I'll get Cocktail, like, on menus around the country. Wouldn't that be great? And, of course, we didn't shoot a picture of that one. So when the layout was done, Paul called me and said, you got to change the name of the cocktail because we have Lady From Shanghai ahead for the movie and Lady From Shanghai the head for the Cocktail. And he says the design doesn't work with it twice on the same page. I said, But, Paul, that's the best cocktail in the book. Right. I don't want to change the name. I want people to go to a bar and order A Lady From Shanghai. But Paul did such a great job in the book. I was the one who acquiesced. And I changed the name to Sailor Beware which is very appropriate to the film, although it's not spot on like The Lady From Shanghai.
CLIP My name is Mike. I'm nothing more than a poor sailor man and him with the princess of Central Park riding along at his side. Princess Rosalie. I want to know, where does the princess come from? You never heard of the place where she comes from? Would Her Highness care to gamble? Gamble? She's done it for a living. I bet you a dollar I've been to the place where you were born. Zhifu. It's on the China coast, Zhifu? It's the second wickedest city of the world. What's the first? Makayo. Wouldn't you say so? I would. I worked there. You worked in Makayo? Here's your dollar. How do you rate Shanghai? I work there, too. Is a gambler. Well, hope you were luckier tonight. You need more than luck in Shanghai.
EDDIE MULLER But that is a good one. That is Irish whiskey, brandy green chartreuse, ginger liqueur and an absent rinse with a lemon twist. Very good cocktail.
BETH ACCOMANDO Wow, that sounds good. I might have to go out and make that one soon. Well, I know that one of your favorite films and mine is out of the Past.
CLIP Near the plaza was a little cafe called La Marasul next to a movie house. I sat there in the afternoons and drank beer. I used to sit there half asleep with the beer and the darkness. Only that music from the movie next door kept jarring me awake. And then I saw her coming out of the sun, and I knew why we didn't care about that 40 grand. Do you believe it? Please.
BETH ACCOMANDO So I wanted you to talk about that one because I think that kind of typifies a little bit about the way you tackled the Cocktails and not necessarily having to make them, like you said, precious. Like it doesn't have to be exactly what you would find in the film or something, but how it kind of pairs up. Well.
EDDIE MULLER Well, sometimes I get a little fanciful. So I chose the paloma because obviously the most memorable parts of out of the Past, the most romantic parts of out of the Past are the scenes set in Mexico between Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer. So I knew that if I was going to do a cocktail for out of the Past, it would probably be a tequila based cocktail. And then seeing their scenes together and how hot it is down there, and then the rainstorm that they get caught in and all this. I just said, I'm going to go with the Paloma, which is a personal favorite of mine, but it doesn't really work because that Cocktail was not created at the time the movie was made. So there's no way they would have actually drinking palomas. And at some point, I think she even asked for like a rum and Coke or something in the movie. And I thought, oh, that's so wrong. And so I just imagined a scene that we don't see where their guide?
CLIP I am Jose Rodriguez, a guide, a most excellent guide. You ask them, they can tell you that Jose Rodriguez knows Acapulco as no one else. Each little street. I don't want a guide, very difficult girl.
EDDIE MULLER He is going to take them home and his wife is going to make them like homemade tamales and palomas. And that's what they're drinking before their big scene when they come in from the storm and they start drying each other's hair. And then we all know what happens after that. Even though the camera looks away, we know very well what happens in that room. And I think it's all fueled by a few palomas over at Jose Rodriguez's house.
BETH ACCOMANDO And I like, you also add a little personal note of like Robert Mitchen probably would not have added the soda grapefruit.
EDDIE MULLER Correct. I mean, it is weird because that is a drink made with grapefruit soda. You will find that a lot of bars now, when they make a paloma, they think that the soda is kind of tacky, so they actually use grapefruit juice and maybe a little club soda because that's like the trend now is like, nobody likes a soda. But I still find that the soda specifically squirt works best in that drink. I mean, it's fantastic because it's nothing. It's just tequila, lime juice, grapefruit soda and a slice of grapefruit for the garnish. And it's a very simple drink, but I much prefer it to a margarita, which I find a little overly sweet and cloying a lot of times. So the paloma is the solution.
BETH ACCOMANDO I made myself a Robert Mitchum version of that today because I just have the straight up tequila with a little lime.
EDDIE MULLER Brilliant. That's fantastic. Yes, you did have the Mitcham version. I did say that he would never drink that. So this one's for Jane because I think Jane would definitely have had a couple of palomas.
BETH ACCOMANDO Well, you also host noir festivals at locations such as in Palm Springs where they actually have a bar perfectly situated where you could have cocktails and bring them into movies. Is this something in the future maybe we have to look forward to of like a host of Eddie Mueller cocktails?
EDDIE MULLER And wouldn't that be nice? Well, I will say this, Beth. I mean, to me that makes perfect sense. And we do that like in Chicago when we do the festival to Music Box Chicago. That theater has a little lounge right next door that has a bar. And so we make cocktails specific for the festival. So we'll be doing that this year. That'll be great. And I think that's also going to be the case in Detroit and in Washington, DC. I think it'll also be the case. We're doing a festival in July in Philadelphia. And yeah, all these places now have bars adjacent to them because I think this is the way the business is going. If you're going to run a movie theater, this kind of movie theater I'm talking about, right? Maybe any kind, you have to make it an immersive experience so that the audiences will leave the house to come to watch movies in an old palace or something. And to have a bar there is essential as far as I'm concerned. I think you should have a bookstore, too, but bookstore, bar, you should be able to do a little live music in the theater. This is the only way that these venues are going to survive.
BETH ACCOMANDO Well, it just seems such a key part of the noir world. Either the drinking or the home bar or a bar room. It just seems like it's hard to think of films, any of those films without those elements.
EDDIE MULLER Correct. And it's funny at least. And of course, smoking was the same way in these films. But we know better now. And I do make a point in the book of as much fun as I have with this. You do need to drink responsibly. And I never have more than two drinks in a day, but I have two drinks every day.
BETH ACCOMANDO Well, you just need to queue up one drink for each film and enjoy them like that.
EDDIE MULLER Exactly. I was very conscious of that. And I'm very glad that the publisher left in some of my observations. When you're young, you think it's like super attractive. I can't wait till I'm old enough to smoke and drink and everything. And then if it doesn't agree with you, it doesn't work. It's not attractive. Right. So you just have to know what's right for you and behave accordingly.
BETH ACCOMANDO And do you have any favorite drinks that are like in a film? Any film that had a particular drink or cocktail or something that you included in this book that you enjoyed?
EDDIE MULLER Yeah. Well, I mean, it's funny you say that you added Caveat at the end that you enjoyed, because it's funny. The Pearl Diver is a great cocktail, but it's very involved to make it. So I think a lot of people are getting the book and immediately making that drink first, because it is the most complicated one. And it's like, oh, my gosh, look at this. And it's from the Blue Gardenia. I mean, Anne Baxter actually drinks polynesian pearl Divers in the movie.
CLIP Strong. Mainly ice and pineapple. Can I get high on one of these?
EDDIE MULLER And I could tell when I showed this on Noir Alley, a lot of people said, is that a real thing? Can I make one of those? What's in it? So I knew that that would have to be included. And, you know, a lot of these scripts were written by writers who were big drinkers. Like Jonathan Latimer, who wrote the screenplay for The Big Clock was a big drinker.
CLIP You better bring two more. Make them triple with green mint green.
EDDIE MULLER Bill Crane, his private eye in his series of detective novels, was basically the drunkest detective more than Nick Charles, right? I mean, Bill Crane was drunk the whole time through every book. And Latimer liked his boost. So as did Kenneth Fearing, who wrote the novel that The Big Clock was based on. So it was not a surprise when Latimer made a big deal out of them drinking Stingers in the movie. But I don't like stingers. I'm just going to say right out, I don't really like them. A little too minty for me. But it's in there because it was a film that was clearly had this booze scene was very strong in the movie. You might have stumped me with that question, Beth, because I'm trying to think if there's one that I like more than any other in particular, and I can't really say so. In a lot of noir films, there's only cocktails when they're in a nightclub. Other than that, they're just drinking from the bottle. Like Edward G. Robinson complains in double indemnity. Right? When he Fred McMurray makes up that phony girlfriend, he has to cover his tracks and he says, it's Margie and Edward G. Robinson. I don't want Margie. Sounds like she drinks from the bottle. That's most of noir. So I'm taking a more fanciful approach to this and imagining that these people actually they're about to rob the bank but they still have time to actually prepare a nice, sophisticated cocktail to celebrate the Heist. That went well.
BETH ACCOMANDO And we know how many of those go well.
EDDIE MULLER It's zero.
BETH ACCOMANDO And I'm not sure if you might have an answer to this or not, but in looking through some of the pictures, I was struck by how many home bars there were that some of these people had. And I'm just wondering if there were any films in particular. I think I was one of the Mildred Pierce pictures I think I saw. But did you have any favorite either home bars or bars that were depicted in these film noir that you just thought were great?
EDDIE MULLER It is interesting. There's one that we found a great shot right up front of Claude Rain Serving Nightcaps and The Unsuspected. And, yes, there are a ton of at home bars. I don't know if there's one particular one that I love more than any other, but man, I remember my parents had a bar room in the house. It was the rumpus room. They called it the Rumpus Room, which there are great bars actually called that. But that was just a standard thing and I'm glad to see it coming back. It was a little set up, usually in the living room. It was like part of the living room. And I have, like, three of them in my house. You can tell I'm evading your question because I can't really think of the one that stands out. I love the shot from Mildred Pierce that we have in there on the porch on the veranda overlooking the Pacific Ocean where Mildred is making something for that CAD, Monty Barragon. But it is isn't it great? How many to see all these people imbibing in these photographs? There's that shot from Mildred Pierce of Zachary Scott sitting at the table with Joan Crawford.
EDDIE MULLER And the way he's got the tuxedo and he's smoking and drinking with the same hand and he's got the cigarette and he's just holding the little coupe glass and it's like that is so freaking elegant.
CLIP Drink? No, thank you. You drink too much. I know I do. Too much of everything. Too many sisters. They all seem to be my size, too. Yes, I like them your size, too, brotherly love. Thank you, Mr. Barrigan.
EDDIE MULLER Too bad he's a rotter, that Monty, because he really knows how to he has the look. It's perfect.
BETH ACCOMANDO Well, I want to thank you very much for talking about the book and for creating this book. Like I said, it is gorgeous. I think people, if they take one look at it and see how wonderfully everything is presented, they can't possibly resist.
EDDIE MULLER Thank you very much. I accept that on behalf of the whole team that put this book together. They really did a sensational job. Thank you. So much for the kind words.
BETH ACCOMANDO Beth well, and I do themed food, so I am going to take this book and start pairing them up with the noir desserts that I've made. I hope your listeners know what you're talking about, because you are like, the queen of the cool desserts that go with the film screening. Yeah. When I came and presented something, what was it? This gun for hire. And you made, like, little 45 automatic cookies or something?
BETH ACCOMANDO Yeah, they were gun cookies. And then we also had cookies that were shaped like body outlines of the corpses you would find. And we put out little markers, like evidence markers along with them.
EDDIE MULLER Brilliant. It was brilliant.
BETH ACCOMANDO I did a whole series of just black and white desserts to go with noir. But now I'm newly inspired to do another film series and start cooking more food.
EDDIE MULLER I think it's a great idea. Invite me.
BETH ACCOMANDO I'd love to have you come down and present a film. And we'll have to pick a drink that we can make easily for, like, 50 people.
EDDIE MULLER That's easy. That's easy.
BETH ACCOMANDO We can do that will be fun. Well, till then, cheers.
EDDIE MULLER Okay, bottoms up.
BETH ACCOMANDO And thank you so much for your time and for the book.
EDDIE MULLER Always a pleasure. Beth thank you.
That was Eddie Muller, host of TCM’s Noir Alley and author of the new book Noir Bar Cocktails Inspired by the World of Film Noir. The book is available at Running press dot com. And check out my film noir companion desserts in my Geeky Gourmet videos on the KPBS You Tube Channel. They are to die for.
That wraps up another edition of KPBS listener supported Cinema Junkie. If you enjoy the podcast then please share it with a friend because your recommendation is the best way to build an addicted audience. You can also help by leaving a review.
Till our next film fix, I’m Beth Accomando your resident Cinema Junkie.
Eddie Muller is the TCM host of Noir Alley as well as the unofficial Czar of Noir. But he began his working career as a bartender and still knows how to serve up a mean cocktail perfectly suited to the seductive and shadowy world of film noir.
His latest book, "Noir Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the World of Film Noir," is designed as a drinking companion for anyone taking a deep dive into the nether world of film noir. The book serves up a tempting menu of classic cocktails, noir-inspired libations, and drinks crafted by Muller himself. So whether you want something elegant like a champagne cocktail or plain and simple like a boilermaker "Noir Bar" has it.
But before we serve up any drinks, I did want to mention some troubling news regarding TCM. I interviewed Muller a few weeks ago and I have to say our mood and tone were far more jovial than it might have been if we had talked more recently. That’s because in the interim Warner Brothers Discovery’s CEO David Zaslav gutted TCM by removing key executives including senior vice president of programming Charles Tabesh.
Tabesh was responsible for the content and amazing curation on TCM. By the time you listen to this, there might even be more changes and cuts that impact my beloved TCM. But there might also be news that Zaslav has changed his mind and reinstated Tabesh (which may have happened if this latest news is to be believed). But the future of TCM just feels uncertain.
There’s been a #SaveTCM campaign on social media and Hollywood heavyweights such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Paul Thomas Anderson made a Zoom call to Zaslav to express their love for TCM and to try and secure its future.
I point this out because TCM is something unique that needs to be cherished and protected. The fact that its future has been placed in jeopardy is just heartbreaking. You can email Zaslav to express your support of TCM at email@example.com. Or write to the board of directors: Warner Bros. Discovery c/o Office of the Corporate Secretary 230 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003.
But to counter that upsetting news, I do have a gorgeous 150 proof book to highlight and a tasty interview with Eddie Muller to share. Here's an image of Zachary Scott and Joan Crawford from "Mildred Pierce" that Muller says sums up the elegant style of "Noir Bar."
Also check out my Geeky Gourmet Video about Noir Desserts to Die For. I made some of these when Muller came to San Diego to present "This Gun for Hire" at Digital Gym Cinema for Film Geeks SD's Noir on the Boulevard series.