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  • Happy Repeal Day! Drink Up!

    Posted on December 5th, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    Aged ScotchDecember 5th marks the 79th anniversary of overturning one of the dumbest amendments ever added to the American Constitution: The 18th Amendment, also know as PROHIBITION. This was a perfect example of how a small but vocal group of dingbats could manipulate the government into getting their way. Thank God we don’t have that today (yes, that is sarcasm). Anyway, the 18th Amendment made it a federal offense to make booze or even just take a drink. This was supposed to stop men from become alcoholics, beating up their wives, losing their jobs, etc. etc. and to keep women from losing their virtue, becoming prostitutes and having any kind of fun whatsoever. Instead, it created the bloodiest band of criminals in our history: Gangsters. Finally, on December 5th, 1933, the federal amendment was repealed, and eventually (though not fast enough for most people) the states all repealed their individual laws. Well, most of them. As far as I know you still can’t buy booze from a liquor store in Atlantic City on Sunday night, and Ocean City, NJ is still a dry town…meaning yeah, you can’t even get a glass of wine with dinner. Then again, it’s kept Ocean City kind of nice. And it’s a short drive to Somers Point to Circle Liquors.

    Here’s last year’s post, that I though was a lot of fun and worth reposting:

    On December 5, 1933, the United States came to its senses and ratified the 21st Amendment, repealing the most ridiculous laws ever enacted in America…Prohibition. Yes, in case you missed that little tidbit in History class, from 1919 to 1933, it was illegal to make, sell, import, export, drink, look at or dream about alcohol. These laws were pushed through by a small but loud group of extremists who kinda thought making liquor illegal would stop people from drinking it, thus ending all problems of crime, mental illness and poverty in the US.

    Boy, were they wrong.al_capone

    In walks Al Capone, and a whole lot of other smart guys like him. Up starts bootlegging. Crime shoots up, innocent people are killed (or jailed for having a slug), distilleries go out of business and moonshiners rake in the bucks. Yea, that worked really well, huh?

    So in 1933, in the height of the Great Depression, the government ratified the repeal of these silly laws. YAY! Depression lessened immediately, gangsters went legit, and even though the economy was still bad nobody cared because they could get tanked on Jack while digging the tunes of Benny Goodman and Cab Calloway. If it weren’t for Hitler, the 30’s would have turned out all right.

    So celebrate today with a swig of your favorite booze, a shot of hooch, a teacup of gin, a pull of beer or a refined cocktail in a highball glass. Whatever your pleasure, imbibe…for today marks the milestone when the US Government decided they should stick to governing and leave individual freedoms alone:)

    Cheers, baby!

    Note: If Prohibition had actually worked, this would not be Tiki Lounge Conversations. It would be “Tiki Juice Stand Talk” and the conversations would be about playing Lawrence Welk tunes on my C-melody sax while drinking lemonade and driving my 1984 Chevy Citation. YUCK-OLA

    Learn a little more about Repeal Day at

    -Tiki Chris P reporting from the party room at Tiki Lounge Talk, the alcohol-endorsing blounge for Tikiphiles and retro swingers.

  • Noir Movie Monday at Tiki Lounge Talk…The Lost Weekend, 1945

    Posted on January 3rd, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    lost-weekend-posterYES! You read right, NOIR Movie Monday. I’ve been doing the Mod Movie title for a year now, and have laid some groovy movies on you kats and kittens. Now it’s time to step way back to the golden age of Hollywood, to spread the word on some of those great treasures lost in our black and white past. Oh, I’ll still throw in some swingin’ movies in the new year, kookie comedies, retro-tastic favorites, etc. etc. but the main pane will be on Film Noir for a while. So without further ado, here is one of my favorites,


    from 1945 starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman.

    Ray Milland on a bender

    Ray Milland on a bender

    I thought this little tour de liqueur would be apropos considering how many of you jet-setters probably swung that way this past New Year’s weekend. The Lost Weekend is about an alcoholic (Milland) on a four-day bender. That’s pretty much it. It’s how he’s portrayed, how the film follows him through his torment as he tried to stay on the wagon (but fails miserably) that earned this flick a load of awards. While the rest of the film makers were churning out war support films and musicals, Billy Wilder and a few others dared to show the world as the gritty, dirty, dark place it often is. Dig this:

    Just one drink...

    Just one drink...

    1946, Won the Oscar for:
    Best Actor in a Leading Role, Ray Milland
    Best Director, Billy Wilder
    Best Picture, Paramount
    Best Writing, Screenplay, Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder
    1946 Oscar Nominated for:
    Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, John F. Seitz
    Best Film Editing, Doane Harrison
    Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Miklós Rózsa

    Yeah, the flick is that good. The character we see is Don Birnam, a recovering alcoholic that’s been on the wagon (with the help of his girlfriend and his brother) for a whole ten days. He seems to be over the worst, but a few minor setbacks later the itch comes back, and all he can think about is his best friend, the bottle. He weasels out of a weekend away with his family and plans a lovely evening at home and on the town drinking his liver away.

    At least he's drinking out of a glass

    At least he's drinking out of a glass

    One of my favorite lines in the movie goes something like this, to the bartender, “The cheap stuff for me. None of that imported whiskey.” If you’ve ever known anyone with an alcohol problem, you know they’ll drink anything they can get their hands on, and plenty of it. It was truth and realism like this that made The Lost Weekend stand out as a superb film, well ahead of it’s time in 1945.

    I highly recommend this film. It’s not only a fantastic movie, it gives us an insight into the lives of realistic people living at the middle of the 20th century. What I mean by that is many of the films we love from the era have highly stylized and stereotyped characters…which is fine, that makes them fun…but The Lost Weekend portrays people at their lowest, and highest, with a realism that stands up even today…consequently, there’s never been a remake. I don’t think anyone could come close.

    lost-weekend-drunkFood & Booze: The Cheap stuff. Maybe Philadelphia whiskey, if you can stand it. Food will only make you sick.


    I’m often surprised by how many people are unfamiliar with the term, and what genre it refers to. Literally meaning “black movie”, Film Noir refers to the dark, ominous movies of the 1930s through 1950s that were not only filmed in low light, but showed the dark side of the human condition. The cinematography was very artistic with the action often filmed at night or in dark places (such as bars, for instance). Up-angles, wide shots, darkened backgrounds and other artistic elements were directed to invoke a specific look and feel, giving the films a very dark, eerie (and sometimes sleazy) tone. Ominous music and very serious acting added to the overall effect. The stories were most often crime dramas and dealt with the worst elements of society…thieves, murderers, prostitutes and wayward women, drug addicts, crooked politicians and gumshoe detectives. Occasionally there would be a break from the typical crime story, and a flick like The Lost Weekend would show us another way for a man (or woman) to hit their lowest.

    Humphrey Bogart, The Maltese Falcon, 1941

    Humphrey Bogart, The Maltese Falcon, 1941

    Some of the most famous examples of Film Noir are The Big Sleep, Sunset Boulevard, The Maltese Falcon, and Laura. Arguably, movies such as Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Haunting and even to some extent It’s a Wonderful Life fit the bill (I did say arguably, please note). In recent times, new flicks filmed in the spirit of the age of Noir have been dubbed “Neo-Noir”…I’m talking about jazz like Sin City, L.A. Confidential, Blade Runner and Mulholland Drive. Expect to see some of these titles in upcoming Noir Movie Monday posts in 2011.

    -Tiki Chris P, reporting from a dimly lit alley behind the tracks of some nowhere, two-bit town.
    Tiki Lounge Talk – The swingin’ blounge for hipsters, flipsters, and all-night kicksters.