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Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History | October 1980 (USA)
A documentary on the history of garlic. Blank interviews chefs, garlic lovers, and historians about the their love of the 'stinking rose.'


Les Blank
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Antzonini Del Puerto Antzonini Del Puerto ... Flamenco Singer, Sausage Chef
Kathleen Bendel Kathleen Bendel ... Garlic Queen
Harrod Blank ... Youth Saved from Dysentary
Mary T. Brown Mary T. Brown ... Cook Who Uses Garlic Salt
Robert Charles Robert Charles ... La Vielle Maison, Truckee, CA
Henry Chung Henry Chung ... Hunan Restaurant, San Francisco
Rose 'Pistolias' Evangelisti Rose 'Pistolias' Evangelisti ... Cook, Garlic Lover
Val Filice Val Filice ... Garlic Grower, Squid Chef
George Flintroy George Flintroy ... Flinty's Barbecue, Oakland
Lloyd John Harris Lloyd John Harris ... Publisher: _Garlic Times_
Michael Goodwin Michael Goodwin ... Interviewer, Recordist, Writer, Garlic Peeler
Maura Hagerty Maura Hagerty ... Irish Garlic Eater
Lawrence Hershman Lawrence Hershman ... Gardener, Marin County
Werner Herzog ... Film Director: Nosferatu
Benni McCarthy Benni McCarthy ... Author: _Living with the Flowers_


Often referred to as a stinking rose, garlic, in its culinary uses, generally evokes a love it or hate it response. Quite often, these responses are on cultural lines, where old world cultures have generally revered it in their cooking, while new world cultures have not. A renaissance of sorts is taking place in the use of garlic in the United States, with more and more immigrants bringing their use of the spice to the country, with more people desiring more spice in their food, with a desire to get back to the land and with the production of plant a large part of the Central California landscape. Many chefs are presented preparing dishes prominently featuring the spice. On the bad side, the association of garlic to bad breath is discussed. On the other side, its purported health benefits are also discussed. Other topics presented include its association to vampirism, and speculation of how people will want their garlic to be presented to them in the future. Written by Huggo

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Not Rated


Official Sites:

Flower Films





Release Date:

October 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vitlök är lika bra som tio mödrar See more »

Filming Locations:

Berkeley, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Flower Films See more »
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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


At the film's premiere at the Film Forum in New York City the ushers walked up and down the aisle with sizzling pans of garlic filling the entire theater with the aroma of garlic. See more »

Crazy Credits

To your good health! See more »


Features It's a Wonderful Life (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

Garlic rules!
4 May 2013 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Les Blank died recently, and so I decided that I'd watch his documentaries. The first one that I've ever watched is "Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers", which focuses entirely on Allium sativum. Blank interviews people about garlic and looks at its history. There's even a part about garlic's role in Cajun food, complete with a zydeco band! It's hard to believe that the Anglo Puritan types actually suppressed garlic, but's what happened in US history. Fortunately we in the 21st century love the stuff (I sure can't get enough of it). I now hope to see more of Blank's documentaries, and of course I'll never stop eating garlic. It's delicious AND nutritious! And above all, I recommend this documentary.

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