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Unfinished soup

This subject has been diligently researched by group member Richard Layne.

Richard noticed that in the four P&P films where people are eating (or drinking?) soup - nobody ever gets to finish it (on screen) !!

To quote the P&P references from the " Soup at the Movies" list :-

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
A story of the British soldier, from the Boer War through World World I and into the years of World War II. Clive Candy (Roger Livesy) has fought or tried to fight in all of them, with the gallant old ideals of earlier times--and in flashbacks he meets up throughout with his Prussian friend Theo (Anton Walbrook) and 3 women, all played by Deborah Kerr. Clive, his female driver "Johnny," and Theo are all served soup for dinner ... which they fail to eat. It is ultimately removed by Clive's batman (John Laurie).

I Know Where I'm Going! (1945)
Joan Webster (Wendy Hiller) takes her father (George Carney) to an expensive restaurant to inform him of her engagement to a wealthy and much older man. They are served soup, which is not eaten and is ultimately removed by the waiter. Not long after, following a terrible Scottish storm at sea, Joan falls in love with poor and young Torquil MacNeil (Roger Livesy).

The Small Back Room (1949)
This gritty tale of alcoholism and wartime stress shows bomb expert Sammy Rice's (David Farrar) struggle against the bottle. Pinker, a civil servant (Geoffrey Keen), joins Sammy Rice for lunch, uninvited, and orders thick soup, to be followed by saddle of lamb. He takes several spoonfuls in the course of their conversation, but then pushes it aside. Sammy then leaves, and we never see whether Pinker finishes it.

The Elusive Pimpernel (1950)
Chauvelin (Cyril Cusack) is enjoying a nice bowl of soup, when he is interrupted by the Scarlet Pimpernel (David Niven). Chauvelin leaves the rest of his soup, and the Pimpernel helps himself to a bowl. However, the Pimpernel doesn't finish his soup either!!! It's all a cunning trick so he can substitute pepper for the Chauvelin's snuff and make good his escape....

So bearing in mind that both Powell & Pressburger were renowned gourmets, what did they have against people finishing their soup??

A late entry ...

Her Last Affaire (1936)
The film was based on the play S.O.S. by Walter Ellis.
When the hero (Hugh Williams) is about to be exposed, he taps out S.O.S. in morse on his plate. At that meal they are served soup but you'll be glad to hear that nobody touches it :)

And a few more ...

One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942)
P&P soup scene spotters will be interested in the scene on the German Bouy at the end of OOOAIM. Despite the fact that the rescue ship has been spotted, Bernard Miles heats some soup up and gives everybody a cup. Then the ship arrives, so nobody drinks any.

Age of Consent (1969)
No soup in AoC, although James Mason makes some chicken casserole (which is not eaten on screen)

Louise Lamont points out:

(MP, scratching around in the 1930s dross of film, goes to an exhibition at the Royal Academy)

"Then I saw a drawing in a corner: a family - father, mother, baby - eating soup. Armed with great spoons, the parents were bent over their plates, although whether the curve of their shoulders was from greed or hunger, or whether they were naturally bowed from constant toil in the fields, was difficult to tell. You could feel that it was the big meal of the day. One great breast hung out of the woman's dress and the baby hung on the breast. You could feel the soup flowing in a warm tide up from the plates and through their bodies. Father, mother, baby. I felt that I had never seen - really seen - anything before. The powerful composition showed the parents full length, as they were seated at the wooden table on wooden benches. I could hear that soup, I could see that soup, I could smell, taste that soup. The drawing was called 'La Soupe' and it couldn't possibly be called anything else. The artist was Honore Daumier.

I love every one of Daumier's drawings and paintings, and especially the self- portrait standing at his easel. But I have never loved any Daumier as I loved this one at first sight. I have always loved soup and making soup, and that wonderful soup of Daumier's warms my guts whenever I think of it.

From that day on I returned to my allegiance. 'Art is all one', as a greater writer than I shall ever be has written. Art is merciless observation, sympathy, imagination, and a sense of detachment that is almost cruelty. Art is 'La Soupe'."

(p.260-261 in Faber edition)

Louise asks "Does the fact that soup knocks Art back into MP's head make his reluctance to let his viewers see his characters finish their soup more significant? Curiouser and curiouser."

And one where people do finish their soup ...

Contraband (1940)
In the dining room of the Danish ship at the start, the passengers are served what the steward describes as 'beautiful soup', and they quickly start consuming it. The steward takes a bowl of it to Captain Andersen on the bridge: he lifts it to his lips and finishes it with relish in two long draughts.

Thanks to Charles Barr for that last one and the updated description of soup in SBR

Other P&P reviews