In 1976 Disney released one of the single most bizarre films ever made. Gus told the story of a mule that was recruited from Yugoslavia to be a kicker in the NFL. The flick starred Ed Asner, Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Bob Crane and Tom Bosley. It's hysterical and I highly recommend it.
Near the end of the film the mule is preparing to play in the Superbowl. Suddenly he gets kidnapped by Tom Bosley and Tim Conway. While that sounds like a dream date for any HUMAN, Gun is unhappy. So he runs away.
And into a supermarket.
The supermarket scene lasts 10 minutes and features every slapstick gag you can imagine.
It's easily my favorite scene in the film.
First of all, I like any scene that takes place in a store. I find myself looking around and trying to read everything on the shelves. It's like a weird little time capsule. Moreover, I think it's cool that these are usually REAL items in the background. Someone probably BOUGHT that can of peaches and ate them never knowing that a mule bumped into them as he fled Mr. Cunningham and Dorf. Then they recycled the can (in 1976 that meant "throw into ocean") never knowing that they had discarded a piece of American cinema.
Let's take a look at the grocery scene in Gus.
There goes Gus, right into Ralphs.
Ralphs is a grocery store chain in Southern California, founded in 1873.
As Gus moseys past registers 7 & 8 we see a sign advertising the "Anniversary Celebration." This could be a real sign since Ralphs was founded 103 years before the movie's release and so it could have been close to 100 years at the time of filming. Or, perhaps, 103 years is an important milestone in food years.
Take note the liquor supply in the background. California grocery stores usually sell booze. BTW, Gus gets drunk in this film. Not this scene, unfortunately.
Here some goofball erects a giant tower of canned fruit.
And of course, the mule knocks 'em down. Then Conway and Bosley trip over 'em.
I wonder if anyone ever REALLY stacked cans this way. It seems incredibly stupid.
Hey look! Pepsi is on special!
Now, Gus gazes at the diaper aisle. Since this was made in the mid 70's that kid in on the package is in his 30's today. I feel bad for him. No matter what else he accomplished in life it probably never equaled the achievement of being on the Pampers package. Yup, he peaked at 1.
Conway gets into a fight with a guy who looked like the WWF's own Hercules Hernandez. It happens right in front of Tony the Tiger, Post Toasties and Carnation products.
This is a great shot. They should have made it the poster. Tim Conway stares at the mules behind as the woman in white stares at Tim. The girl in the red and the kid next to her stare DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA.
Behind Tim is a display telling you to "Enter Shasta's Toyota Corolla Contest." Funny thing is, I bet that sign would fetch a little more on eBay than a 1976 Toyota Corolla.
I can also imagine it's worth more than that 1964 Adam Corolla I see on TV.
Eventually Tim hops on the mule and rides it past the snack aisle. In the center you can see some old-style Dorito bags and Ruffles are on the right. Ruffles seems to have changed little over the years. Still, if you were Ruffles, would you EVER change?
Finally Gus runs away giving us another look at Ralphs and the Magnolia Pharmacy next door.
Well, now I'm starving.