Dinner and a Movie – The Odd Couple (1968)

Sometimes I fantasize about having chums round for a poker game and serving food like Oscar “Divorced, Broke and Sloppy” Madison does in this movie.  

He’s a filthy bachelor living in squalor and one of his card-shark chums observes of his disgusting, out of order fridge, “I saw milk standing in there that wasn’t even in the bottle!”

Bringing sandwiches to the poker table crammed into his armpit, the conversation goes like this:

Oscar: Who wants food?
Murray: What do you got?
Oscar: I got, uh, brown sandwiches and, uh, green sandwiches. Which one do you want?
Murray: What’s the green?
Oscar Madison: It’s either very new cheese or very old meat.

 

Ha ha!  Sounds a bit like the stuff in my fridge…

The basic premise of this film is that Oscar, in a moment of weakness, agrees that his friend Felix can come and stay after his wife boots him out.  Alas, Felix has a million irritating habits.  You know the kind of thing…

If that doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what I’m going to do with you…

I think this would be my desert island movie.  If I could only ever see one film over and over and over and over and over, it would be this one (or maybe Groundhog Day).

I am absolutely in love with the “coo-coo” Pigeon Sisters…

When Oscar gets these beauties round for dinner, Felix ruins plans for their seduction with a burned meatloaf and a crying jag.  Oscar is so annoyed with his flatmate that he sends him to Coventry and a silence descends on their living space.  

In a fabulous foodie moment involving the correct term for a type of pasta, Oscar finally loses it…

In case you missed Oscar’s pasta flinging face, here it is…

I checked the Silver Screen Suppers spreadsheet for an appropriate dish to serve alongside this movie and Jack’s recipe for a ground beef casserole seemed to fit the bill as it contained NOODLES.  I am sure that Felix would have a been a bit more specific about what kind of noodle, but I went for fettuccine.  

It was comfort food for a comfort movie.  No matter what kind of mood I am in, I’ll be in a better mood after watching this brilliant film.  If you’ve never seen it, get hold of it immediately.  It’s even better feel-good therapy than eating a whole angel food cake all by yourself!

This mini-appreciation of just a few of the great food bits in The Odd Couple was written for the Food in Film Blogathon hosted by Silver Screenings and Speakeasy.  Thanks for organising this Kristina and Ruth! #foodinfilm

I can’t wait to read all the other entries, you’ll find them all popping up over the next few days here…

Announcing the Food in Film Blogathon

and here’s Jack’s recipe…

Jack Lemmon's Ground Beef Casserole

Jack Lemmon's Ground Beef Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 oz / 225g green noodles/pasta
  • 2 lbs / 900g ground/minced beef
  • 1 small green pepper, finely chopped
  • Minced white onion
  • Small amount of butter
  • 16 oz / 450g tomato sauce
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened by beating
  • 1 small tub sour cream (do not use it all)
  • 1 pint / 475g cottage cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 175 degrees C / gas mark 4
  2. Cook noodles in boiling salted water. In a large frying pan, saute the meat, green pepper and onion in butter. Add tomato sauce. In bottom of a well greased casserole dish, put 1/2 of the noodles. Combine the cream cheese and sour cream. Cover noodles with the cheese mixture then cover with the rest of the noodles. Bake uncovered slowly for 30 minutes or more).
  3. Serves 8
  4. Important note! Jack's recipe is a bit vague and he doesn't mention what to do with the beef mixture. I did a lot of googling as I have never made a beef casserole with noodles (it's not a "thing" here in the UK) - I decided to go with a Betty Crocker method, because the made-up entity that is Betty usually knows what she's doing. I mixed the noodles up with the cheese mixture and layered that with the beef mixture - I was worried about the noodles going crispy if I used them as the top layer so I went - noodles - beef - noodles - beef. I resisted the urge to grate lots of cheese over the top. There was no mentioning of seasoning in Jack's recipe - I added freshly ground pepper to the cheese mixture, and salt to the beef.
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http://www.silverscreensuppers.com/jack-lemmon/dinner-movie-odd-couple-1968

10 Responses to Dinner and a Movie – The Odd Couple (1968)

  1. Silver Screenings 3 Nov, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

    This review + recipe is a real treat.

    First, I nearly spewed my tea while watching the Jack Lemmon Throat-Clearing clip. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this film, and I’d forgotten how funny that scene is.

    Second, that recipe sounds really tasty! What time is dinner?

    Third, thank you for joining the blogathon. I wouldn’t have thought of The Odd Couple as a choice for #FoodinFilm, but it was an excellent choice. My compliments to the chef!

    • Jenny 4 Nov, 2017 at 7:54 am #

      Jack Lemmon is sooooooo good as Felix and I’m sort of glad you nearly spewed your tea! Thanks so much for hosting the blogathon – can we do it again next year?!

  2. Patricia Nolan-Hall (Caftan Woman) 3 Nov, 2017 at 5:22 pm #

    Dinner served by Oscar Madison is not for the faint of heart nor weak of stomach. The poker scene is my favourite, but agree that the entirety of The Odd Couple is brilliant. Neil Simon is my idea of comic perfection.

    • Jenny 6 Nov, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

      Hi Patricia! Yes, I agree, it really is comic perfection. Your website has a new fan! Jenny x

  3. Mark Brisenden 4 Nov, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    Hmm, sounds a bit like Lasagne with noodles instead of pasta sheets. .. It is a great movie though . In a sort of similar vein I would also recommend another Neil Simon/Matthau movie ‘The Sunshine Boys’ with Clark Gable’s Corned Beef Sandwich as the food. The scene’s where Richard Benjamin visit him in his apartment are priceless.

    • Jenny 6 Nov, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

      You are absolutely right Mark, it was a bit like Lasagne with noodles! Ooooh, I’ve never seen The Sunshine Boys *goes immediately to eBay – does not pass GO…*

  4. Virginie Pronovost 6 Nov, 2017 at 1:52 am #

    I’ve seen this film but oddly enough don’t remember much about it! Luckily, your very interesting article as well as the clips helped to refresh my memory! Jack Lemmon clearing his sinuses is pretty hilarious!

  5. Jenny 6 Nov, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

    Thank you Virginie – I just visited your blog and loved your review of L’aile ou la cuisse” – I’m definitely going to try and get hold of that on DVD if I can find one with English subtitles. Or perhaps I’ll just see if my schoolgirl French gets me through it! Jenny

  6. Kristina 7 Nov, 2017 at 1:28 am #

    Great choice, such a funny movie and the recipe to go with, perfect for comfort food. Glad you joined us for the blogathon–would love to do it again, so see you then? 🙂

  7. Jenny 10 Nov, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    Ooooh yes please, count me in if you do another! Such a rich seam for blogging. Thanks for organizing it, I loved it! Jx

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