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Off the Menu - The Last Days of Chasen's (2004)

Raymond Bilbool , Ronald Clint , Robert Pulcini , Shari Springer Berman  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Raymond Bilbool, Ronald Clint, Tommy Gallagher, Trisha Absher, Army Archerd
  • Directors: Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman
  • Producers: Alicia Sams, Diandra Douglas, James V. Kimsey, Julia King, Julia Strohm
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00018YCKK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,923 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Off the Menu - The Last Days of Chasen's" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Exclusive Chasen's recipes
  • Filmmakers' biography

Editorial Reviews

From the award-winning filmmakers behind American Splendor comes their debut film about the beloved Chasen’s restaurant, a Hollywood mainstay where everyone from Charlton Heston to Madonna was served for over fifty years. Featuring a treasure trove of int

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
(14)
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully done Hollywood history-humorous poignant November 3, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I have seen this wonderful film in Hollywood, New York and Wasington D.C. and it never disappoints. There is so much in it that it is always interesting and a joy to watch. There are many fascinating persnalities--both the Chasen's staff and old Hollywood personalities-and they are portrayed with amazing sensitivity, humor and intelligence.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! March 9, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
More than a documentary on a Hollywood hot-spot, "Off the Menu" speaks about a rare crew of people who have dedicated their lives to serving the stars. This eclectic and engaging group arrests the audience with their dedication, sorrow, and, in some cases, flamboyance. The most human film I've seen in a long time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Off the Menu is a beautifully produced movie about one of the places where old Hollywood legends where made. It is filmed as a documentary but it comes off as an entertaining collection of stories about Hollywood and the people that made it famous.
Chasens is no longer operating but is actually still standing, or was at the begining of October '99. Going inside after seeing the movie was great. The old set-up is still there and, given a bit of imagination, I could feel what it might have been like at the top of its time.
A great movie overall - I'm buying two!
RRH - 10/15/99
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary! March 11, 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
"Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's" is the best documentary I've seen in a long time. The documentary catches the audience and in a fascinating and human way describes the atmosphere, the staff who dedicated their lives serving the stars, but also deals with the evolution in the restaurant business that played a role in the closing of this famous Hollywood restaurant. It's a great documentary! Buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One last morsel of past pleasures gone forever August 2, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When I moved to Beverly Hills in 1977 after leaving University, one of the first 'Hollywood moments' I had was walking around the neighborhood a couple days after moving in. As I walked down Beverly Boulevard I saw uber-producer Robert Evans walking towards me flanked by a two gorgeous women--a blonde and a brunette. It was a warm night but he was wearing a scarf. Drunk with opportunity I caught his eye and nervously gushed out "Mister Evans I'm A Huge Fan Of Yours And I Know You Don't Want To Be Bothered But Please Tell Me One Thing That Will Help My Career I Will Be In Your Debt Forever!!!"

He stopped in his tracks, reining in the girls. Looked at me, and turned around and pointed down Beverly Boulevard and said "Eat at Chasen's.." As he resumed walking he yelled back at me "...and leave a big tip!"

I managed to make it there a number of times over the years, and although it lost the allure for some it was the closest you could get to finding the last glimpses of the old Hollywood I had grown up reading about.

OFF THE MENU captures that magic for those lucky enough to have experienced the magic, and brings it to life for those who can only wonder. Whilst not as seamless as it could be, and lacking a few more celebrity reminiscences that would have added value, It leaves you satisfied, but still wanting one more taste for dessert.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Off the Menu - The Last Days of Chasen's January 4, 2007
By Betsie
Format:DVD
This is an excellent movie, it's being used in the classroom to teach beginning Restaurant/Hospitality students.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ** "IT'S OVER 20 YEARS OLD...TEAR IT DOWN !" *** December 9, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
THAT'S HOW JAY LENO JOKES WHEN INTERVIEWED IN THIS DOCUMENTARY ABOUT A LOS ANGELES LEGEND CALLED CHASEN'S. THE HEARSE IN THE OPENING SEQUENCE MAY AS WELL BE CARRYING THE SOUL OF ALL THE FAMOUS PATRONS WHO EVER VISITED THE FAMED RESTUARANT. TORN DOWN TO MAKE WAY FOR A MORE PROFITABLE MALL, CHASEN'S NOW LIVES ON ONLY IN THIS DOCUMENTARY. OVER THE YEARS, THE CLIENTELLE INCLUDED THE BIGGEST STARS IN HOLLYWOOD, BUT THE REAL STAR OF THIS FILM IS CHASEN'S.****RENT OR BUY IT ! *******
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Found memories
My dad worked at Chasen's for 15 years and became the catering manager
Chasen's also supplied some of the food for TWA at LAX airport
They also did the big catering bash... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Roger Boddaert
5.0 out of 5 stars It was exactly as I expected
Hollywood's Golden era, the likes of which we will never see again.
It tugs at your heart strings ever more.
Published 2 months ago by Lance M.
4.0 out of 5 stars You Can See Why Chasen's Succeeded...and Ultimately Failed
Early in the film, Tom Snyder says "This place never changes." That's what was eventually its undoing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by D. J. Fone
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Memory
One of my favourite all time restaurants - so glad I could experience it before it closed, and with this DVD I can experience it again anytime I feel like it (although nowhere near... Read more
Published 4 months ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars I knew the Matre D
This movie was very interesting because my daughter's grandfather-in-law was the matre d at Chasens for years. Read more
Published on July 15, 2007 by Rosemary N. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty Stuff
I celebrated my 30th birthday at Chasens as well as a few others years later. I've also attended partys there, one before the place closed and later, when the location was used as... Read more
Published on March 4, 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Most boring documentary ever!
This must be the WORST documentary I have ever watched. I love Hollywood legends & I love old LA restaurants. Read more
Published on September 21, 2002
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