Australian Screen

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Tandaco Prepared Stuffing: Don’t Cry Dear Lady (c.1942)

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You can't serve chicken without stuffing.

This clip chosen to be PG

Clip description

This is a complete colour Tandaco Prepared Stuffing cinema advertisement from approximately 1942. It begins like a feature film with a title and melodramatic music and cuts to a woman crying as she peels onions for her roast chicken stuffing.

Having trouble finding the herbs in her kitchen, she imagines the consequences of serving the roast chicken without stuffing. She sees her husband and husband’s boss look at her with disgust. The voice-over concurs that ‘you can’t have that happen’ and a packet of Tandaco Prepared Stuffing appears in her hand. She adds boiling water, mixes it and stuffs the chicken.

Later that night, her husband’s boss compliments her cooking saying that ‘you can’t beat this homemade stuffing’. Various meals where you can use Tandaco Prepared Stuffing are suggested including cutlets, stuffed baked rabbit, leg of mutton and stuffed tomatoes. The advertisement ends with a packet shot of Tandaco Prepared Stuffing.

Curator’s notes

The format of this c1942 cinema advertisement mimics a feature film of the 1940s. It opens with the mock movie title, Don’t Cry Dear Lady, and an orchestral musical score that wouldn’t be out of place in a feature of the period starring Olivia de Havilland. It even shows the name of the production company as would be expected on a feature film title slide. Audiences would have been unfamiliar with this stylistic approach in an advertisement and it would have grabbed their attention.

The opening scene shows a woman crying, not because she is upset, but as the camera zooms out we see she is cutting onions. This comic trope is used to outwit us but also prefigures the events that follow. The male voice-over provides a thoroughly condescending and patronising narrative to the action.

It’s hard not to cringe at this advertisement as it plainly reflects the attitudes people had toward women and their role in society in the 1940s – or at least the way advertisers saw it. However, we are also able to appreciate its production values. The colour grading is beautiful, the editing is tight, the audio clear and the direction is professional. As a mini-story it is actually a joy to watch.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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