|Mother's new 2013 logo for its restaurant|
What does all this have to do with movies, you ask? As it turns out, quite a bit. As a matter of fact, Mother's Pizza is partly responsible for my love of silent movies. Although I didn't know it at the time, it was the start of my film fanaticism. Let me elaborate.
|The famous Mother's waitress uniform and pizza pedestal|
A few years later, one by one, Mother's restaurants began to close and the memories began to fade away with them.
Fast forward to the present and you'll find that Mother's Pizza is back in business.
We. Are. Open. WE ARE OPEN! Welcome back to Mother's, everyone! #MothersIsBackBefore any of you skeptics out there zero in on the suspicious date of that tweet, let me assure you it's not an April Fool joke. The first restaurant did indeed open on April 1st in Hamilton, Ontario, where it all began.
— Mother's Pizza(@Mothers_Pizza) April 1, 2013
Surely it won't be the same though. Are they going to play silent movies like the good 'ol days?
Many have asked, and YES, Mother's WILL be playing silent movies, like in the old days! #MothersIsBackThat answers that question. In return, Mother's posed a question of its own regarding movies.
— MOTHER'S PIZZA (@Mothers_Pizza) February 18, 2013
Since silent movies are our thing...what movies from the 70's and 80's would be amusing to watch without sound? :)
— Mother's Pizza(@Mothers_Pizza) March 5, 2013
I suggested Mel Brooks' own Silent Movie with its star-studded cast including Paul Newman and Burt Reynolds.
|The General theatrical poster|
Here's an example of a film that Mother's might have shown back in it's heyday.
The General is a 1926 black and white silent comedy which stars Buster Keaton and Marion Mack. It is based on the Great Locomotive Chase, a military raid that occurred during the American Civil War. Keaton also co-wrote, produced and directed the film. In it, he plays a train engineer who helps the Confederate Army thwart Union soldiers with the help of his locomotive, the "General". Many scenes show Keaton performing several dangerous stunts on the moving train. Among other things, the film is noted for having the single most expensive scene of the silent film era.
Directed by Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton
Starring Buster Keaton — Johnny Gray
Marion Mack — Annabelle Lee
Glen Cavender — Captain Anderson
Jim Farley — General Thatcher
Frederick Vroom — A Confederate General
Joe Keaton — Union General
Mike Donlin — Union General
Buster Keaton made his last silent film appearance in 1965 in a film by the National Film Board of Canada called The Railrodder. It's safe to say that he loved railroads given that the majority of his time on screen is spent on train tracks in both this and The General. There was even a documentary made while filming The Railrodder, chronicling his time spent off screen when he wasn't shooting. It's called Buster Keaton Rides Again.
Here are a series of vintage TV commercials for Mother's Pizza, one of them featuring Dennis Weaver, the star of McCloud and Duel which is basically Jaws on eighteen wheels. That's not surprising since it was directed by a young Steven Spielberg who makes the most of this TV movie.
I look forward to getting re-acquainted with Mother's Pizza in the future to rekindle some great memories. The Hamilton location is too far for me to visit on a whim but perhaps with future expansion, one will open once again in my neck of the woods. Any potential franchise owners out there?
Finally, in honour of Mother's re-opening, here is a top ten list of pizza moments in movies.
- Mystic Pizza (1988) - A slice of heaven
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) - Jeff Spicoli orders a pizza in Mr. Hand's U.S. History class
- Spaceballs (1987) - Pizza the Hutt is a cheesy villain
- Mr. Deeds (2002) - Crazy Eyes loves french fries and Oreo cookies as pizza toppings
- Pizza! The Movie (2012) - Documentary about the World Pizza Championship in Italy
- 30 Minutes or Less (2011) - A tragic and true story about a pizza delivery man
- The Jerk (1979) - Cup o' Pizza - it's pizza in a cup!
- Pizza (2005) - A pizza deliveryman develops a bond with a girl nearly half his age
- The Net (1995) - Sandra Bullock makes history by ordering a pizza on the internet
- Pizza Man (2011) - No longer in the middle, Frankie Muniz gains pizza powers