RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Dorothy McGuire

Swiss Family Robinson

Posted on
Image Credit: Walt Disney Productions, 1960, Swiss Family Robinson

Image Credit: Walt Disney Productions, 1960, Swiss Family Robinson

Land ho! This week on Cinema Sips, I’m mixing business with pleasure by featuring a movie and drink that are factoring strongly into my current vacation to Disney World. As any true Disney fan knows, the very best thing in the Magic Kingdom is the Dole Whip at the Aloha Isle. A creamy soft-serve pineapple concoction that I always get floated over pineapple juice (aka- the Dole Whip Float), it’s something I dream about on hot summer days. Just thinking of that sweet, tart pineapple flavor makes my mouth water. This amazing snack is found just beside the Swiss Family Treehouse, a recreation of the island treehouse featured in this week’s film Swiss Family Robinson (DVD/Download). The bench nearby will be my home-away-from-home for a few days, while I scarf down enough Dole Whip to put myself in a diabetic coma.

Swiss Family Robinson is based on the novel by Johann David Wyss, and it came out during what I like to think of as the Golden Age of Disney live-action films. In the 1950’s and 60’s Disney released such gems as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Pollyanna, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, and The Parent Trap. Oh, to be a kid back then! (I was stuck with Angels in the Outfield ). In Swiss Family Robinson, The Robinson Family (father, wife, and 3 sons) gets shipwrecked on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific after a tedious pirate battle. They manage to salvage important things like livestock, tools, two Great Danes, and a pipe organ (how could you possibly survive on an island without one of those??). The pirates make a few more attempts to seize the family, but in the meantime the Robinsons set about crafting a pretty awesome treehouse. It’s got ladders, curtains, the aforementioned organ, a dining table, separate bedrooms, and even a watermill. Later on a young lady arrives, setting off a tepid love triangle between the middle and eldest sons (team Ernst all the way!!!) and the youngest son manages to pull a Kevin McCallister and booby trap the island against future pirate invasions. If they could re-make this with Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as pirates, my life would be complete.

The following drink recipe was given to me by a very wise Disney employee years ago, after I went on and on about how much I love Dole Whip. My husband even surprised me with several pounds of dry Dole pineapple mix so that I could attempt it at home, but alas, it lacked the creaminess that you get from the machine. Over the years, I’ve found that using pineapple sorbet yields an excellent result, so this week, while watching The Swiss Family Robinson, break out the blender to make a Dole Whip Dream.

Dole Whip Dream

2 cups pineapple sorbet (I normally use Bluebell, but listeria….)

¼ cup Butterscotch Scnapps

¼ cup Southern Comfort

¼ cup dark rum

1 cup pineapple juice

½ cup ice

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a tiki mug and enjoy with a straw and a tiki umbrella.

Dole Whip Cocktail

It’s worth noting that Disney’s Polynesian Resort now has a Dole Whip cocktail on their Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace menu, called the Spikey Pineapple. Of course I had to taste test it (just in the name of due diligence) and I can assure you all that my version is better. If you can’t make it to the Mouse House this year, do the next best thing by watching this movie full of island adventure and shirtless young men, and mix up a VERY tasty Polynesian beverage. Cheers!

A Summer Place

Posted on
Image Credit Warner Bros, 1959, A Summer Place

Image Credit Warner Bros, 1959, A Summer Place

True confession: I’m a sucker for any movie with Sandra Dee in an A-line dress. I’m also a sucker for melodramatic movies of the 1950’s, the type that would have been playing at a drive-in movie theater. This week’s Cinema Sips pick, A Summer Place (DVD) fulfills both criteria. I must have caught this movie on AMC back in high school (when they actually showed classic films) and from the moment I laid eyes on Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue as two star-crossed teenage lovers, I was hooked. Throw in cardigan sweaters and preppy boat shoes, and well, we may as well just call this a perfect movie.

A Summer Place is about two teens who find themselves together on an exclusive New England resort called Pine Island for the summer. Troy Donahue plays the son of the innkeeper, and Sandra Dee is the daughter of a family that comes to stay. As it turns out, Sandra Dee’s father (played by Richard Egan) used to be involved with Troy Donahue’s mother (played by Dorothy McGuire) when he was the lifeguard there as a teenager, and even though each married other people, they never forgot each other. As you can guess, romance rekindles between the parents as it blossoms among their children. The writers of this film’s script make the ensuing adultery pretty convenient, since she’s married to an alcoholic and he’s married to a racist. OF COURSE they’d have affairs. Admittedly, it’s a soap opera, complete with wonderfully melodramatic music, kooky supporting characters, and hysterical overacting. But the scenes of ocean waves crashing against craggily rocks, afternoon sailing, and a cocktail hour where everyone dresses up make me swoon. It’s what summer should be.

This film was an easy choice for Cinema Sips because it features some great drunk scene-stealing by actor Arthur Kennedy. He tells it like it is, even when “it” happens to be that his wife is sleeping with her former lover again. He’s an alcoholic for sure, but a dignified alcoholic. None of those bar fights or crying meltdowns that movie alcoholics are traditionally known for. So in his honor, I’m mixing up a great standby WASPy summer drink- a Pine Island Gin & Tonic.

Pine Island Gin & Tonic

1.5 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin

3 oz Fever Tree tonic water

Lime wedge

Sprig of Rosemary for garnish

Build ingredients in a tumbler full of ice. Squeeze a bit of the lime juice into the glass, stir, and garnish with rosemary and lime wedge.

Pine-Island-Gin-and-Tonic

I’m adding a sprig of rosemary to this because it mirrors the pine trees surrounding the inn. And it fancies up a drink that, admittedly, is pretty simple. But in summertime, when it’s hot out, this is the drink that I make more often than anything else. It’s easy, delicious, and really hits the spot. Be sure to use the best ingredients though, because when you’ve got a simple drink, it’s abundantly clear when you’ve skimped on quality. I like to fix one of these and imagine I’m sitting at Richard Egan’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home bar, as I listen to the ocean waves crashing and watch Troy Donahue stroll down the beach in his short shorts and cardigan sweater.   Très jolie, as the French would say. Très, très jolie. Cheers!