6 user 8 critic

Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History | October 1980 (USA)
A documentary on the history of garlic. Blank interviews chefs, garlic lovers, and historians about the their love of the 'stinking rose.'


1 win. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A look at the spirit of New Orleans. First a funeral: Allen Toussaint explains that you arrive slow and cut up afterwards. Then it's food, with a lesson in eating crayfish at Frankie and ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Blue Lu Barker, Henry 'Professor Longhair' Byrd, Dr. John
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A portrait of the life, culture and food surrounding the lovers of Polka music. The title is taken from an old Polka standard. Stars of the Polka world are highlighted.

Director: Les Blank
Short | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A charming valentine to women born with a space between their teeth.

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Carrie Adell, Catherine Anderson, Natacha Aubier
Documentary | Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A portrait of the great Texas bluesman, 'Lightnin' Hopkins. The film includes interviews and a performance by Hopkins.

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Lightnin Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb
Hot Pepper (1973)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Documentary about noted Zydeco artist Clifton Chenier. Based out of New Orleans, Chenier was the self-crowned "King" of Zydeco (a New Orleans musical hybrid containing elements of blues, ... See full summary »

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Clifton Chenier, Felix James Benit, Cleveland Chenier
Documentary | Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A deeply moving tribute to the Texas songster, Mance Lipscomb, considered by many to be the greatest guitarist of all time.

Directors: Les Blank, Skip Gerson
Stars: Mance Lipscomb, Elnora Lipscomb, Hattie Franklin
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary about Tommy Jarrell, a fiddler from North Carolina. This films shows a bit of his current life and those around him and includes a lot of his Appalachian Old-Time music.

Directors: Les Blank, Cece Conway, and 1 more credit »
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This documentary from Les Blank follows the indomitable Gerald "The Maestro" Gaxiola, who turned to a life of prolific art making after years as an aircraft mechanic, traveling salesman, and body builder.

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Peter William Brown, Alice Gaxiola, Gerald Gaxiola
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

"Les Blank marries his passion for spicy, down home food and his love for Cajuns and Creoles in this mouth-watering, exploration of the cooking, and other enthusiasms, of French-speaking ... See full summary »

Directors: Les Blank, Maureen Gosling
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A short documentary in which directors Werner Herzog and Errol Morris make a bet which results in Herzog being forced to eat his own shoe.

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Werner Herzog, Tom Luddy, Michael Goodwin
Documentary | Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A documentary about the music and influence that Francisco Aguabella has had on the world.

Director: Les Blank
Stars: Francisco Aguabella
Dry Wood (1973)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A portrait of black Creole life in the Louisiana Delta, accompanied by the hot sounds of Zydeco music.

Director: Les Blank


Cast overview, first billed only:
Antzonini Del Puerto ... Flamenco Singer, Sausage Chef
Kathleen Bendel ... Garlic Queen
... Youth Saved from Dysentary
Mary T. Brown ... Cook Who Uses Garlic Salt
Robert Charles ... La Vielle Maison, Truckee, CA
Henry Chung ... Hunan Restaurant, San Francisco
Rose 'Pistolias' Evangelisti ... Cook, Garlic Lover
Val Filice ... Garlic Grower, Squid Chef
George Flintroy ... Flinty's Barbecue, Oakland
Lloyd John Harris ... Publisher: _Garlic Times_
Michael Goodwin ... Interviewer, Recordist, Writer, Garlic Peeler
Maura Hagerty ... Irish Garlic Eater
Lawrence Hershman ... Gardener, Marin County
... Film Director: Nosferatu
Benni McCarthy ... Author: _Living with the Flowers_


Often referred to as a stinking rose, garlic, in its culinary uses, generally evokes a love it or hate it response. Quite often, these responses are on cultural lines, where old world cultures have generally revered it in their cooking, while new world cultures have not. A renaissance of sorts is taking place in the use of garlic in the United States, with more and more immigrants bringing their use of the spice to the country, with more people desiring more spice in their food, with a desire to get back to the land and with the production of plant a large part of the Central California landscape. Many chefs are presented preparing dishes prominently featuring the spice. On the bad side, the association of garlic to bad breath is discussed. On the other side, its purported health benefits are also discussed. Other topics presented include its association to vampirism, and speculation of how people will want their garlic to be presented to them in the future. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated


Official Sites:

Flower Films



Release Date:

October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vitlök är lika bra som tio mödrar  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


At the film's premiere at the Film Forum in New York City the ushers walked up and down the aisle with sizzling pans of garlic filling the entire theater with the aroma of garlic. See more »

Crazy Credits

To your good health! See more »


Featured in Rotten: Garlic Breath (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Les Blank
28 July 2016 | by See all my reviews

A documentary on the history of garlic. Les Blank interviews chefs, garlic lovers, and historians about the their love of the 'stinking rose.' The director recommends that, when the film is shown, a toaster oven containing several heads of garlic be turned on in the rear of the theater, unbeknownst to the audience, with the intended result that approximately halfway through the showing the entire theater will be filled with the smell of garlic.

Les Blank is an interesting character. I think his finest work is when he went around America, collecting the sounds of various regions. Much of what he caught on film was groundbreaking, and the natural environments he found may no longer exist. His exploration of garlic is far less important, but interesting in a sort of offbeat way. It's amusing that he even managed to get Werner Herzog to talk about the lack of garlic in "Nosferatu".

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial