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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 (15 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: Multiple Formats, 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 (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00018YCKK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,321 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
(15)
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 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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10 of 12 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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4 of 4 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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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
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty Stuff March 4, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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 a 'rent-out'. The film really captured the flavor of the establishment and has a great deal of heart.
Some viewers may not be able to relate to the material, especially if they never dined at Chasens. However I found it fascinating. My uncle knew Dave Chasen and ate there every week, it was his favorite place and he's eaten all over the world. At any rate, I thought the movie was great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was exactly as I expected February 4, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Hollywood's Golden era, the likes of which we will never see again.
It tugs at your heart strings ever more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Found memories March 26, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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 for Howard Hughes premiere of his Spruce Goose in Long Beach
Chasens rented tents from Baranum & Baily circus troupe to house this lavish party near the water in Long Beach
I had the great pleasure from time to time to go out on some of Hollywood's gala parties in their homes with my dad
Once Elizabeth Taylor called from Rome while working on Cleopatra and had Chasen's send over 10 gallons of Dave's famous chili
Bing Crosby's gave my dad a 14 K gold money clip in the shape of a horse shoe as a tip from a party in their home in Beverly Hills
Dave would invite the families of employees over to Chasen's New Years Eve day to help decorate for his gala party that night and gave all of us a fine luncheon in return
Yes, I have found and vivid memories of those golden days at Chasen's
Roger Boddaert Jr.
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