Director of the film The Manhattan Cocktail (1928), Dorothy Arzner’s name cropped up during the author’s painstaking research (i.e. Googling obscure facts to procrastinate) while writing Peterson’s Happy Hour.
Her image appeared yesterday in a New York Women in Film & Television brochure (left) — it seemed like she really, really wanted to be in a Peterson’s post.
One of the earliest female film directors, Arzner worked at Paramount Pictures and was the first female to join the Director’s Guild of America. Her Manhattan Cocktail was a “part-talkie” film about a college co-ed who heads to Broadway dreaming of stardom, only to be disillusioned by a ruthless producer. Unfortunately, the film–along with the role a Manhattan cocktail actually plays in it–seems to be forever lost…
Arzner was also the director of The Wild Party, silent film star Clara Bow’s first “talkie,” and the third top-grossing film of 1929. A bar figures prominently in this flapper-era story about “wild girls at a college [who] pay more attention to parties than their classes” (imbd) and one in particular who reputedly both sleeps with her professor (played by Frederic March) and–much worse!–commits plagiarism.
But wild parties aside, the Arzner-related film with the most enduring impact on the cocktail canon is arguably Blood and Sand, the Rudolph Valentino bullfighter film that she edited–and for which the classic cocktail is named. In the Peterson-tested BARSmarts course, Dale DeGroff says of the drink “At first glance, this… seemed a god-awful mix… but don’t judge without tasting it.”
Blood and Sand
3/4 ounces Scotch whisky (such as Chivas Regal)
3/4 ounces Cherry Heering
3/4 ounces sweet vermouth
3/4 ounces orange juice
Shake [with ice] and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.