Follow TV Tropes


Film / Menu

Go To

Menu is a 1933 short film (nine minutes) directed by Nick Grinde.

A businessman played by Franklin Pangborn is shown drinking bicarbonate of soda to alleviate indigestion. We cut to the reason for his indigestion: his wife (Una Merkel), an incompetent cook, floundering in a kitchen that looks like a tornado just tore through it. The narrator (Pete Smith) takes pity on the "dizzy dame" (this film is pretty amazingly sexist even for the 1930s) and intervenes. After magically cleaning up the kitchen, the narrator conjures up an Italian chef out of nowhere. The magical chef then teaches the wife how to make roast duck with baked apples.

One of 150 or so short films that Pete Smith produced for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the classic Hollywood era. A few years later Smith made a Recycled Script version of this short film called Penny Wisdom.

Not to be confused with the Psychological Thriller/Black Comedy film The Menu.


  • Cooking Show: Some Pete Smith shorts were Faux to Guides but this one is an apparently earnest tutorial on how to make roast duck and baked apples, with a bunch of comedy thrown in.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: The very cute Una Merkel as a bumbling cook wrecking her own kitchen.
  • Idiot Ball: The wife is about to try and crack an egg with a nutcracker before the narrator intervenes. Then she tries to use a mallet.
  • Interactive Narrator: Pete Smith is adopting the traditional narrator tone up until the point where he says "Go on with your cooking." The wife then carps "What do you think I am, a magician?" The narrator then proves that he is a magician by cleaning up the kitchen and conjuring the chef.
  • Rewind Gag: The narrator magically cleans up the incredibly messy kitchen by quite obviously rewinding everything that was done to it. Dropped eggs reassemble themselves and fly back up, spilled bowls of flour leap back up onto the table, etc.