Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLes Blank
Produced byLes Blank[1]
Flower Films[1]
Distributed byFlower Films[1]
Release date
  • 1980 (1980)
Running time
51 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States

Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers is a 1980 documentary film about garlic directed by Les Blank. Its official premiere was at the 1980 Berlin Film Festival.


It was filmed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, as well as in other locations in Northern California. 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.[3]

The title is a shortened form of the saying "Garlic is as good as ten mothers... for keeping the girls away."[4]

Reception and legacy

In 2004, the film was selected for preservation in the United States' National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."[5][6] The Academy Film Archive preserved Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers in 1999.[7]

In Blank's 1982 film Burden of Dreams, a documentary chronicling the filming of Fitzcarraldo, director Werner Herzog and other crew members can be seen wearing "Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers" T-shirts.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980) - Cast, Credits & Awards". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2015. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Les Blank Films - Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers (1980)". Les Blank Films. Les Blank Films. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Food Filmmaker Les Blank Puts The Scent In Cinema (". The Washington Post.
  4. ^ "The Essentials: 7 Films You Should Know From Acclaimed Documentarian Les Blank". IndieWire. 26 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Librarian of Congress Adds 25 Films to National Film Registry". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  6. ^ "Complete National Film Registry Listing". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  7. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.