The Mister Softee jingle is already ringing across neighborhoods with the start of summer just around the corner. Since we’re in the mood for a cone or two, we decided to look through the cinema archives and see what films featured ice cream scenes that spoke to us. It’s no surprise that everyone’s favorite dessert has appeared in a number of movies (and has been referenced in dozens more). Here are ten films to kickstart your ice cream cravings and a few that should help put you in the spirit of summer.
A little ice cream cools things off during the tense dinner scene in Hitchcock’s 1948 film — you know, before anyone at the party accidentally discovers the dead body hidden inside the wooden trunk during the festivities.
“Now they say ice cream is really good for your health!”
It’s a Wonderful Life
Two scoops, topped with polygamy.
An ice cream cone becomes a kinderwhore accessory when Carroll Baker’s Baby Doll Meighan is eating it. Karl Malden’s Archie Lee Meighan grows impatient with his bratty child bride, who listens to him have a meltdown as she snacks on a cone. Her ice cream scene isn’t overtly seductive, but director Elia Kazan enjoys hinting at the blurry line between Baby Doll’s innocent and not-so-innocent moments.
John Travolta’s Vincent Vega is extremely concerned about the rising cost of milkshakes.
Assault on Precinct 13
You won’t get your vanilla twist cone in John Carpenter’s world. The director shows no mercy during one of Assault on Precinct 13‘s most violent scenes. In an interview with Sci-fi-online, the filmmaker talks about his bloody ice cream regrets:
I don’t know how clever it was [referring to the way he avoided an X-rating]. We had a scene where a little girl gets killed with a gun, and it was pretty horrible at the time — explicit. I don’t think I’d do it again, but I was young and stupid. So there it is on the screen and the MPAA said they were going to give us an X, so the distributor of the movie suggested: ‘Just cut it out. We’ll show it to the MPAA and then just let it go as it was’ and those were the old days where they didn’t check so much, so that’s what we did.
All of Ice Cream Man
The 1995 horror-comedy Ice Cream Man is an oddity. Directed under a pseudonym by a pornographic filmmaker (Norman Apstein/Paul Norman), the film stars Ron Howard’s brother Clint Howard as a murderous ice cream man who became a killer after witnessing the death of an ice cream man during his childhood. It’s trashy, absurd, and the acting is cringeworthy, but Ice Cream Man has a cult following thanks to its bizarre humor.
Down By Law
Since this is the second Jim Jarmusch film on our list, we can only conclude that the director is a fan of the frozen dessert. Jack (John Lurie), Zack, (Tom Waits), and Roberto (Roberto Benigni) scream for ice cream like nobody’s business.
Scatman Crothers’ Dick Hallorann offers little Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) some ice cream — telepathically, of course.
“Things are getting pretty serious right now. I mean, we chat online for, like, two hours every day so I guess you could say things are gettin’ pretty serious.”