March 7 is Cereal Day. An unofficial day of celebration for America’s favorite breakfast food intended that is intended to honor one of the few businessmen in American history actually worthy of a holiday. An official one at that. John Kellogg may not appreciate these movies that honor Cereal Day, but let’s be honest: how many movies are there that honor cereal?
The Road to Wellville
“The Road to Wellville” is a movie actually about John Kellogg and his, well, what we would today term “alternative medicine.” You won’t learn a whole lot about cereals by watching “The Road to Wellville” but you will learn if you like seeing a handful of actresses who were well known at the time in the buff. So, the lesson learned here is if you want to celebrate Cereal Day by watching nude actors while learning a little bit of history about Kellogg’s, then “The Road to Wellville” is your movie.
Memories of Murder
“Memories of Murder” is the best serial killer movie you’ve never seen. Unless you have seen it, in which case it is probably the best serial killer movie you have ever seen. Certainly, this brilliant Korean film ranks in at least the top three movies about serial killers ever made. Word of warning, however, and you can take this as a spoiler or not, but knowing this fact won’t lessen the enjoyment: you never do find out the identity of the serial killer. Look, I told you upfront that there are not a lot of movies made about cereal, so why not celebrate Cereal Day by watching a great serial killer movie?
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
While it would be going too far to say that “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” is a movie about cereal, it is certainly not going too far to suggest that one of the biggest laughs comes at the expense of the cereal industry. Pee Wee Herman starts his big, sad but ultimately triumphant day by sitting down to breakfast with his favorite cereal: Mr. T cereal. Maybe the greatest line in movie history that is appropriate for Cereal Day is expressed in this movie: “I pity the fool who don’t eat my cereal!”
Island of Lost Souls
My favorite breakfast cereal of all time is the late, lamented, long gone dead Fruit Islands brand from the 1980s. The 1932 movie “Island of Lost Souls” is a retitled version of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” and contains a definite strain of subtext on Victorian views toward homosexuality. This convergence of cereal and subtext makes it an ideal choice to watch on Cereal Day. If you want to watch a movie about societal repression that appears on the surface to be anything but a political film, then set aside Cereal Day to watch “Island of Lost Souls.” Pay special attention to Charles Laughton’s performance as Moreau to see what I’m talking about.