September 26 is National Pancake Day . A number of other unofficial holidays are devoted to pancakes and waffles, but this is the big one. September 26. A day on which to cook up a stack of hotcakes and sit back and pig out on the fluffy delights while watching movies featuring scenes of people pigging out on pancakes. Or, you know, something like that. The point is that National Pancake Day is easily a day which can be celebrated using all your senses.
Winter of the Witch
Kids today. I swear, they don’t realize how bad they have it. Sure, they’ve got TV at their fingertips available to stream on demand 24 hours a day, but they don’t get the kind of weird educational public service films rolled into their classrooms the way those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s did. One of the weirdest examples of a movie produced by adults to indoctrinate kids into some half-baked ideology is amazingly and scarifyingly appropriate for watching on National Pancake Day. Oh sure, the National Pancake Council may not approve of its being on your list for National Pancake Day, but trust me: you won’t want to miss this one. We are talking pancakes that seem to make anything cooked by Walter White look like rock candy. Oddest of all, these trippy hippy pancakes are at the center of a movie distributed by the Learning Corporation of America to schools all over America. Check out “Winter of the Witch ” and see if you can determine what, exactly, the educational message was intended to be.
Imitation of Life
The 1934 version of “Imitation of Life” is especially appropriate for watching on National Pancake Day. While the plot’s focus on matters of race may quickly grow tiresome, you can find enjoyment in just how vital to the story your favorite breakfast food becomes. So important is the concept of making and selling pancakes to “Imitation of Life” that one can fairly argue it may well be the single most important movie to add to a marathon for viewing on National Pancake Day. If pancakes mean nothing without the addition of Aunt Jemima Syrup, then you will be particularly thrilled that you took a chance on a movie from 1934.
The Happy Years
Fast forward a few years to 1950 for this movie that reveals the tradition of pancake eating contests go back at least to the turn of the 20th century. “The Happy Years” lends a very specific element to observation of National Pancake Day. That element is the pancake eating contest. This time-honored tradition has been eclipsed by hot dog eating contests in recent decades, but one look at the pancake eating contest in “The Happy Years” is more than enough to reveal that watching people stuffing wieners into their mouth is not nearly as entertaining as watching people eating sticky, gooey pancakes.