Edward Scissorhands

A lonely man with scissors for hands is taken in by a suburban woman and her family.

Released in 1990 and directed by Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is a fantastically fantastic film filled with its fair share of food moments, and seeing as the climax of the film occurs during Christmas time, December felt like a particularly fitting time to feature it here on food & a film.

The first appearance of food in Edward Scissorhands occurs just a few moments into the film when we see a teapot, teacup & saucer, and a plate with what looks like cookies on the nightstand in the opening scene. This initial food moment is so brief that one might easily miss it. Roughly twenty minutes later is the next appearance of food, which is much more substantial, and consists of an entire dinner scene between Edward (Johnny Depp), Peg (Dianne Wiest), Bill (Alan Arkin) and Kevin (Robert Oliveri). Judging by their plates, it looks like the foursome are enjoying a pot roast dinner of beef, potatoes, carrots and peas. In addition to a dinner plate, everyone has a small bowl of green salad, and a bread plate topped with a couple slices of white sandwich bread. Then for beverages, it looks like the males are all drinking grape juice, and judging by the lemon wedge in her highball glass, it appears that Peg is having an iced tea. Also, in addition to everyone’s individual dinnerware pieces, there is a salad bowl with serving utensils on the table, as well as a lidded serving dish (presumably for the pot roast), and salt & pepper shakers. As the Boggs enjoy their dinner with ease, Edward struggles quite a bit with his meal (most notably, failing to get a single pea in his mouth after multiple tries), and the constant clicking of his scissorhands inevitably scores the scene. A couple minutes into the scene, Peg offers Edward some butter for his bread and Edward takes a slice with one of his blades, with a carrot already speared at the end of another.

The next notable food or drink moment in the film occurs a few moments later as Bill is having a beer on a lounge chair outside while watching the ball game on TV. Meanwhile Peg answers the door and greets several of the neighboring housewives who are very inquisitive about Edward. Joyce (Kathy Baker) asks Peg what time the barbecue begin, and explains to a confused Peg, “Well, you intend to show your guest hospitality by introducing him to your friends, don’t you?” One woman behind Joyce exclaims, “’l’ll bring coleslaw.,” while another chimes in, “I’ll bring dessert.,” before Joyce declares, “And I will bring the ambrosia salad.” I should also note that throughout this little doorstep scene, Peg is wearing an apple-print shift dress. The film then cuts to a close-up of Edward chopping iceberg lettuce in preparation for the barbecue. Peg who is in the process of making deviled eggs says to Edward, “I’ve always said that you really can’t have a picnic or a barbecue without deviled eggs. They’re just the best. They make the thing.” On the surfaces of the kitchen we can spot a bag of Cheetos, a bag of potato chips, red peppers, a jar of pickles, a bowl of fruit salad, and a bowl of baked beans.

Then as Peg uses an electric can opener, we flashback to Edward’s birthplace, which looks like a factory of sorts with a sugar cookie conveyor belt. The camera sweeps along the various stages of the conveyor belt, beginning with the cracking of an egg into a mixing bowl, and continuing on to the rolling out of dough. As the camera stops at the end of the assembly line, we can see sugar cookies coming out of the oven section of the belt. The sugar cookies appear to be cut into four different shapes: a star, a person, a dog, and a heart. The Inventor (Vincent Price) walks over to the cookies as they come out of the oven and picks up one of the heart-shaped baked goods. He then walks over to an adjacent conveyor belt where a robot with scissorhands is chopping celery. The Investor holds the heart cookie up to the robot’s chest, and we are left to infer that this is how the concept of Edward’s creation came to be.

Following this factory sequence, we cut to the barbecue, which is in full swings with neighbors mingling with food & drink in hand. Following a close-up of Edward opening a can of Budweiser for a guest, we see Peg passing around a tray of hors d’oeuvres with ritz crackers around the rim, and some kind of skewed mini kabobs surround a bowl of dip in the center of the platter. Peg asks Edward, “Do you want something to eat? Are you hungry?,” and proceeds to feed him a ritz cracker. We then cut to another close-up of Edward grilling, using his blades as skewers to make kabobs, as well as to grill a couple of hot dogs. As Edward is grilling, Joyce approaches Edward and insists on feeding him a giant spoonful of her ambrosia salad. As soon as Edward takes a bite, several other women rush over to Edward with their dishes and proceed to spoon-feed him bites of their barbecue contributions. Bill then comes over and pulls Edward’s food-filled scissorhands into the air, announcing, “Okay, everybody. Grab your plates. Soup’s on.” Edward then remarks to Bill, “I thought it was shish kebab.,” to which Bill replies, “Yeah, it, it is shish kebab. It was a figure of speech, Ed. You got to learn not to take things so literally.”

After the barbecue scene, the next notable food or drink moment in the film occurs when Bill and Edward have a drink at the basement bar. When Bill pours them both a drink (presumably scotch or something of the sort), Edward asks, “What is it?,” and Bill replies, “Lemonade.” Edward then struggles to grab his glass so Bill gets him a straw and Edward proceeds to drink the entire glass in a single slurp, which then literally floors him. Following this basement booze moment, we cut to a scene where Joyce is preparing actual lemonade for her and Edward to enjoy; however, when Edwards hears that the drink is lemonade, he becomes ill.

The next significant food moment in the film consists of yet another dinner at the Boggs residence, this time with Kim (Winona Ryder) in attendance, as well as her friend, Suzanne (Marti Greenberg) and boyfriend, Jim (Anthony Michael Hall). The scene begins with a close-up of Edward cutting meat with one of his blades. In addition to the roast beef Edward is cutting, we can see green beans, corn and a dinner roll on everyone’s plate, and like the previous dinner, everyone also has a small bowl containing a green side salad. Again, it would appear that Peg is having her iced tea with lemon while everyone else is drinking grape juice, with the exception of Edward and Kim who are both having water. Edward proceeds to cut another piece of beef and attempts to serve it to Suzanne, but she objects saying, “I can’t eat that, he used his hands. I think it’s unsanitary.” Edward then moves the piece of meat over to Kim who does not reject it; however, Edward misses her plate completely and accidentally drops the roast beef in her lap instead.  

Following the second family dinner scene at the Boggs residence, the next food scene is yet another Boggs family meal; however, this time, it takes place at a diner. The scene begins as Edward walks into the diner where the four Boggs family members are already seated with their food in front of them. As Edward apologizes for being late and takes a seat in the booth, Peg hands Edward a menu. Going around the table it looks like Peg is having a sandwich with a side of potato chips and an iced tea, Kevin is having a burger with fries and a glass of milk, Bill is having what looks like a bowl of chili, a bowl of mashed potatoes, a plate of saltine crackers and a glass of milk, and Kim’s meal is the least distinguishable possibly consisting of some type of meat with mashed potatoes, green beans, and diced tomato, and a glass of water.

After this scene at the diner, the next food scene in the film happens to be the final Boggs dinner scene. This time the Boggs and Edward are having some sort of casserole dish with a side of carrots, slices of white bread, small bowls of green salad, and glasses of grape juice and an iced tea for Peg.

The final appearance of food in the film occurs when the Boggs are setting up for their Christmas party. When Peg takes Kim inside to tend to her cut, they pass the buffet table, which is all prepped for the party complete with multiple pies and a large punch bowl covered with plastic wrap that will presumably be taken off right before the party begins.

Lastly, a few other food or drink moments in the film worth mentioning include Peg telling Edward she is harmless as cherry pie, Edward being given cookies in exchange for his gardening, the plate of cookies on one of the housewives’ coffee tables during the Christmas time phone scene, and Kevin taking a food or drink item of some sort out of the fridge.

For my Edward Scissorhands-inspired menu, I looked to Edward’s first dinner with the Boggs Family as inspiration and prepared vegan beef, roasted potatoes, cooked carrots, peas, a side salad of iceberg lettuce and cherry tomatoes, and a couple slices of white bread with a pat of butter. Also, just like the Bogg’s apparent go-to beverage at dinner, I opted for a glass of grape juice.

Then for dessert, I baked sugar cookies, which I cut in shapes to match the film’s sugar cookies on the conveyor belt, and gave them a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Finally, for the table setting, I chose a fabric to use as a tablecloth, which to me, evoked the art direction in the film during its festive third act. I also had to add not one, but three bouquets of roses since roses are the most prominent flower in the film, and flowers and beauty seem to always be in abundance when Edward is around.

And that concludes the final food & a film post for 2020! I am happy to announce that I will be continuing to post in 2021 so be sure to check back next year for new posts. Until then, I hope you have a healthy and happy end to the year! Thank you so much for your support!

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