Monday, February 2, 2009

Nixon's Cheeseburger Conversation

I saw the movie Frost/Nixon last week, and I was quite impressed with it. But I also left the theater wondering, as a foodie, whether the phone conversation depicted in the movie really happened.

For those who haven't seen the film, here's what happens. The night before his final interview with former President Richard Nixon, journalist David Frost is in his hotel room. The phone rings and he answers it, expecting that his girlfriend is calling to ask him what kind of food Frost wants her to bring back. But the caller is Nixon — not his girlfriend. Before the ex-president can utter a word, Frost makes this declaration:
"I'll have a cheeseburger."

Nixon, who has been drinking, tells Frost that he too likes cheeseburgers, but that his physician has discouraged him from eating them for health reasons. His physician, says Nixon, "switched me to cottage cheese and pineapple instead. He calls them my Hawaiian Burgers."

The two men proceed to have an intense phone conversation, although it is Nixon who basically does all the talking. The ex-prez tells Frost that the two of them have something in common: neither one of them grew up in a social class that virtually pre-ordained his success.

I have searched the web, but I can't seem to find any evidence that this "cheeseburger" conversation actually occurred. Does anyone out there know if it did? I'd love to find out and scratch this itch that is my curiosity.

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