When Gill of Reelweegiemidget Reviews announces a movie star blogathon, I immediately check my movie star recipe spreadsheet to see what I have for the person in question.  In the case of Christopher Plummer, in my whole collection of over 8,000 star-spangled favourites, the answer was ZERO.

Too busy to eat…

Luckily Gill had tipped me off about a scene in International Velvet (1978) where Christopher’s character eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Well, for most of my youth my body was made up of around 75% peanut butter, and I happen to be working my way through a Dulux paint-tin sized vat of it at the moment…

Add a corn on the cob to this photo and you’ll have my 3 favourite foodstuffs.

Therefore, I was more than happy to make one of these for a viewing session of this “Girl-Is-Saved-By-A-Horse” movie.  I have pinched that phrase from the brilliant Silver Screenings entry to the blogathon which has the fabulous title – Christopher Plummer in 1970s Sweaters.

Naturally, I was primed to shout SWEATER at the screen every time I saw Christopher sporting a different one in the film.  As Silver Screenings points out, Christopher’s character is a writer, and it is a law in Hollywood that all writers in films wear sweaters.  Therefore, I also decided that it would be more than fitting to knit some of my Writer’s Block jumper as I watched.

It was a glorious peanut butter and jelly eating, Writer’s Block knit-along, Christopher Plummer 1970s sweater-spotting immersive watching experience.

I laughed a lot when Christopher Plummer delivered this line whilst prostrate on a sofa…

There’s a scene early on in the film where Tatum O’Neal’s young orphan character Sarah has arrived from America to live with her very British aunt Velvet and her lover John (I am guessing even though Christopher Plummer is Canadian, John supposed to be British).  Here’s a breakfast table conversation as John and Velvet try to get to know their new charge.

John Seaton : What’s your favourite food, Sarah?

Sarah Brown : Peanut butter.

John Seaton : I beg your pardon?

Sarah Brown : Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Velvet Brown : Mmm. That sounds intriguing.

John Seaton : It sounds revolting. Is that, uh, is that very American? Probably why Americans have such rotten teeth.

Velvet Brown : Well, you can talk. All of his teeth are false, Sarah.

Actually, isn’t it usually us Brits who are accused of having rotten teeth?  Don’t Americans all have lovely teeth?

Later Sarah makes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for John.

They get into a deep and meaningful conversation about boyfriends and love, with John delivering this great conclusion.

I hear what you are saying, John.

I got more than a little bit obsessed with Nanette Newman’s outfits in this film…

Shirts under smocks were her character’s signature style.

This is definitely the sort of outfit I would wear when making vast amounts of marmalade…

She gussies up for a local gymkhana…

This beach strolling get-up was my favourite though – the shirt collar, the flares!

Man, I love 1970s fashion.

I had half planned to make a Nanette Newman recipe to eat while watching this movie as Nanette wrote several cookbooks.  But here is something even better folks!  In my day job I work with several film collections, one of which is the TV-am archive.  TV-am was a breakfast slot show here in the UK that ran from 1983 to 1992.  Nanette did an occasional cooking spot on the show and what do you know, she actually talks about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in one of her cooking demos.  Look, she’s even pointing at the peanut butter and jelly in the video thumbnail!  That’s what I call KISMET.

The whole slot is worth a watch because Nanette is an absolute delight, and she’s got some great ideas for pimping up a sandwich.  She doesn’t demonstrate the PBJ because she says, “everyone knows how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich” but I am pretty sure hundreds of people in the UK in 1986 shouted JELLY?!! at their TV sets.  Come on Nanette, you are a Brit, you could have called it jam to avoid consternation and confusion…

In International Velvet, Christopher Plummer’s character spells it out for the British audience when he asks Sarah…

Watch out who you eat your peanut butter and jam sandwiches with though…

Thanks Gill and Gabriela from Pale Writer for prompting me to watch International Velvet. As someone who spent a lot of time mucking out stables and hanging around tack rooms in my teenage years I really enjoyed it.  Did I cry at the end?  Only for about the last 10 minutes solid.

I loved the PBJ of course.

I can’t leave without sharing a clip of Nanette in The Stepford Wives.  This is exactly how I feel when I get a tip-off about a movie star recipe in a book that I don’t actually have…


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