Do you love Pizza and Movies? Check out our favorite pizza feature films!
Pizza is truly a comfort food. From that very first bite we had as children, pizza is often associated with a feeling of nostalgia, with its hot tasty crusty and gooey cheese. Who can resist?
Just as pizza is one of those satisfying and filling foods for many, it’s also a food that’s featured in many movies and is memorable for a variety of reasons. Here is a sampling of films for pizza lovers.
Early Movies with Famous Pizza Scenes
‘The Bicycle Thief’
“The Bicycle Thief” (1948) is one of the earliest movies that has pizza in some of its scenes. This movie received an honorary Oscar in 1949 and was re-released fifty years later. Roger Ebert even called it a masterpiece in one of his reviews. The film centers around a man who is great need of a job. The only problem is that the man, Ricci, doesn’t have the bicycle that is required for the job.
Ricci takes the sheets his wife removes from their bed to the pawn shop and is able to exchange them for the bicycle that he had once pawned. But Ricci’s work as a poster hanger is threatened when someone steals his bike. He and his young son Bruno search the streets of Rome for the bike after attempting to enlist the help of the police, who aren’t able to assist them.
After a great amount of frustration and little success, Ricci and Bruno go to a restaurant where they eat pizza. As Bruno looks enviously at another family that is eating pasta, Ricci lets him know that you need to be wealthy to be able to eat the platters of pasta at the restaurant.
‘The Gold of Naples’
Another older film that highlights pizza in movies takes place in L’oro di Napoli (1954), called “The Gold of Naples.” Sophia Loren and her husband sell fried pizzas in Naples. Because of Loren’s great beauty, all of the other men in Naples are in love with her, and her husband is very jealous.
One day her engagement ring goes missing in the pizza dough while she was making it. Because the ring is likely in one of the pizzas she and her husband sold, they desperately search for it by asking all of their customers if they have seen the missing ring, making for a very comical situation.
Ordering Pizza for Delivery or Pick Up
‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’
Most of us dreamed about ordering a pizza for delivery at school when we were younger. And Jeff Spicoli achieves that dream when he orders a regular-crust pizza with double cheese and sausage for delivery to his high school class in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982). Unfortunately for Spicoli, the punishment devised by his teacher means his classmates shares a majority of the pie.
‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial’
Another movie released the same year was the ever-famous “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982). Elliott, the young boy who first discovers E.T., goes outside in the driveway of his home waiting to pay and accept the delivery of a pizza. He hears something in the toolshed.
After tossing a ball into the shed, he is surprised when the ball is thrown back to him. When family and friends go out to look at the shed, they don’t find anything, though they notice that the pizza has been squashed when returning to the house. Elliott’s mother gets angry when he tells her that Elliott’s brother and friends had disobeyed her and ordered the pizza.
Who can forget Macaulay Culkin’s pizza request in “Home Alone” (1990)? All he wants is a plain cheese pizza. Unfortunately, his evil brother ensures all of the plain cheese pizza is gone before Culkin’s Kevin even has one slice. No wonder he doesn’t want to travel with his family. Kevin does fulfill his dream of getting to order plain cheese pizza when he stays home alone and orders pizza from Little Nero’s, making his final revenge on his older brother by paying for the pizza using his brother’s cash.
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’
Pizza can be an obsession for some people, and this is very evident in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1990) when a confused delivery person needs to drop a pizza off for someone who is below ground. As turtles Michelangelo and Donatello wait for the delivery guy to drop the pizza off on the grate above them, they know they will get a discount if the delivery isn’t received in the promised time. Fortunately for them, the delivery is late, and they receive their discount.
‘The Princess Diaries’
Having a pizza delivered to someone is a great way to apologize. In “The Princess Diaries” (2001), Anne Hathaway apologizes for her rude behavior toward one of her best friends by ordering a pizza, paying for it, and having it delivered to him. But it’s not just any pizza. The regular-crust cheese pizza is complete with Skittles candies on top of it that spell out the word “sorry.”
‘30 Minutes or Less’
In a somber testament to pizza delivery based upon actual events, pizza delivery man Brian Douglas Wells brings a pizza to a secluded area in “30 Minutes or Less” (2011). After making the delivery, the men who placed the order put a bomb on him, forcing him to participate in a bank robbery. Wells is later approached by the police, and though they try to disarm the bomb, their efforts are for naught as the bomb explodes and killed Wells.
Perhaps the most sensational pizza delivery takes place in “Spider-Man 2” (2004), when Spiderman, played by Tobey Maguire, needs to rethink the traditional method of pizza delivery via a bike throughout the traffic-congested streets of New York City.
After his boss issues an ultimatum forcing Maguire to deliver eight pizzas, in less than eight minutes, to a location 42 blocks away in order to keep his job, Maguire tries the bike. Knowing he’ll never make it in time, he switches into his Spidey costume to fly from building to building, only to have a cranky receptionist tell him he is late and refuse to pay. If only he could tell his boss that the delivery was slightly late because, as Spider-Man, he had to rescue two children from the path of an oncoming vehicle.
High-Tech Meets Pizza
In 1995, the concept of ordering a pizza from your computer was virtually unheard of. However, Sandra Bullock is able to accomplish this in “The Net” (1995) when she orders a regular-crust pizza to eat in front of a virtual fireplace on her computer screen. Viewers of this movie could only hope ordering pizza from a computer was in their future.
‘Back to the Future II’
“Back to the Future II” (1989) features a tiny pizza that needs to be rehydrated in a special oven. All the person cooking the pizza needs to do is to tell the oven at which level they want the pizza to be rehydrated. Within seconds, the pizza comes out of the oven hot and regularly sized. Though the movie shows this technology available in 2015, pizza joints have yet to introduce a dehydrated pizza.
Movies Featuring Pizza or a Pizza Shop
‘Do the Right Thing’
Acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” (1989) takes place at Sal’s Pizza, a Brooklyn pizza shop with regular-crust New York-style pizza. When a customer, played by Giancarlo Esposito, is upset that there are no photographs of African Americans on the wall of the pizza shop, Sal chases him out of the shop. At least the customer gets to take his slice with him.
In addition to writing this movie, Spike Lee directed and starred in the film as Mookie, the main character. While the focus of the movie is on the racial tension in 1980s Brooklyn, neighborhood residents agree Sal’s is the best place to go in if you want good pizza.
‘Eat Pray Love’
While Sal’s isn’t the best pizza shop in the world, Julia Roberts actually does visit one of the most acclaimed pizza shops in the world in “Eat Pray Love” (2010) as she samples regular-crust Pizza Margherita in the Naples pizzeria L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele. The pizza is so amazing that Roberts keeps going back for more.
‘Saturday Night Fever’
John Travolta’s iconic strut is well-known to fans of “Saturday Night Fever” (1977). And don’t forget that while he’s strutting down the street in Brooklyn, he is munching on two slices of Lenny’s regular-crust pizza. Lenny’s is still in business at the same location in Brooklyn, and Travolta was the first person who made an art of eating two slices on top of one another while walking down the street.
Woody and Buzz in “Toy Story” (1995) don’t want to eat any pizza. They just want to get to Pizza Planet, where Andy, their owner, is eating. The only way they can get there is if they hop aboard the Pizza Planet delivery truck.
A popular comedy starring Adam Sandler, “Mr. Deeds” (2002), shows that a billionaire can retain his humility. Sandler plays Longfellow Deeds, who keeps on running his pizza shop even after he inherits $40 billion.
One of the most iconic pizza shop movies actually has the name of a pizza shop in its title. “Mystic Pizza” (1988), set in the Connecticut seaside town of Mystic, focuses on the lives of three waitresses who work at the shop.
Sisters Daisy and Kat are Portuguese Americans who work at the pizza shop alongside their friend Jojo. The three women believe if they can get a famed restaurant critic to review the pizza, it will help increase business, which is currently not doing that well as it is only supported by locals and summer tourists.
But each of their personal lives is a main part of the story as Kat falls for a local married architect, whom she is babysitting for to earn money to go to Yale. Jojo is having second thoughts about her marriage to her long-time boyfriend, a local fisherman. And Daisy, played by “Eat Pray Love’s” Roberts, has attracted the attention of a wealthy, preppy law school drop-out.
There is thin-crust pizza at Mystic Pizza, a real restaurant in Mystic, Connecticut, that is the main setting for this movie as the hopes, dreams and personal lives of these women are connected to the restaurant where they work.
Weird Pizza Cravings
‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master’
Freddy’s unusual pizza craving in “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master” (1988) may temporarily turn you off pizza considering the fact that his pie comes with live heads instead of meatballs.
The Comedic Moments of Eating Pizza
Comedy is the mainstay of the well-known movie featuring Wayne and Garth. Poor Wayne of “Wayne’s World” (1992). He doesn’t even realize that despite his statement refusing to bow to any sponsors, he is doing just that as he puts a slice of Pizza Hut regular-crust pizza in his mouth. Maybe it is better he just isn’t smart enough to realize when he is being manipulated.
‘Crazy, Stupid Love’
And dry humor is ever-plentiful as Ryan Gosling makes eating a slice of pizza look like an art as he downs a slice while wearing a suit in “Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011). He even offers to share the slice with Steve Carell, who loses his shoes shortly thereafter.
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll High School’
Poor Joey Ramone. He is the only band member who isn’t allowed to eat pizza and must eat other, healthier foods in “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” (1979).
“Stripes” (1981) is rightly viewed as a crazy military comedy, but pizza does play a role, even if it is a small one. You can’t help but laugh while empathizing with poor Bill Murray as he picks up slices of pizza that have fallen onto the ground and tries to put them back into the box.
“Spaceballs” (1987), a parody of sci-fi movies, features a memorable pizza, or sort-of pizza, moment. The character known as Pizza the Hutt is really just globs of sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella, not the most attractive portrayal of pizza or of the restaurant with the same name, especially when Pizza the Hutt threatens one of the main characters and wants him to pay a million dollars in space money.
A young Patrick Dempsey earns money for college by working as a pizza deliveryman in “Loverboy” (1989). His pizza delivery involves more than just small tips as he comes to realize that he can make larger tips working as a pizza delivery guy/gigolo for lonely women.
Get a Pizza to Eat With Your Pizza-Themed Movie
With all of these great movies with pizza references, you may be getting hungry for pizza and have a desire to start watching movies. Why not do both? It would be a great time to consider ordering pizza. Try ordering from Giordano’s, where one of our specialties is stuffed deep-dish pizza.
The Giordano pizza tradition began in Torino, Italy, where Mama Giordano was well-known for her pizza pie. Efren and Joseph Boglio started their own pizza business after moving to Chicago, using their mama’s recipe for stuffed pizza. The first Giordano’s opened in 1974, and the business has continued to grow for over 40 years.
Giordano’s has many locations in the Chicago area where you can order delivery or pick-up. There are also Giordano’s locations in Florida, Indiana and Minnesota.