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The throw must go on: 5 best custard pie fights in film

06 January 2020

Nothing guarantees a bigger laugh than a well-flung custard pie. Here are five of the very best.

Laurel and Hardy and their legendary custard pie fights

Battle of the Century 1927

Laurel and Hardy set the benchmark for custard pie mayhem. It’s worth watching for the banana skin set-up alone. If there’s such a thing as a nuanced custard pie fight, then this is it. A big hand for director Clyde Buckman, please.

In the Sweet Pie and Pie 1941

There is an awful, or rather awesome, inevitability  signalled by the butler simply entering the room with pie in hand. It’s some pie, mind you. And the Three Stooges are not ones to waste an opportunity, or indeed  a pie of such tempting proportion…

The Great Race 1965

Tony Curtis wanders untouched as gateaux gunk fills the air with Natalie Wood, Peter Falk and Jack Lemmon  – getting a double dose as he plays two roles – taking a faceful in Blake Edwards’ corking comedy. It took some 4,000 pies and five days to film this meticulously choreographed homage to ‘the pie’.

Smashing time 1967

The Summer of Love, Swinging London. Not even this coolest of cool eras could remain immune to the anarchic charms of ‘the pie’. Vanessa Redgrave is at the heart of the action from this British com-rom.

Bugsy Malone 1976

Some get ‘pied’, others get ‘creamed’. In Alan Parker’s kids’ movie musical, the gangsters got ‘splurged’ with custard-firing guns. The finale shoot-out between Fat Sam’s gang and Dandy’s Dan’s outfit is not so much a bloodbath as a custard bath. Just fabulous.

Plus, one from the history books…

Coxheath Custard Pie Throwing Championships

The Kent village of Coxley Heath holds the annual World Custard Pie Throwing championships, keeping this proud tradition going. This late-60s footage shows the care that’s put into pie preparation, and the glorious results.

… and one from the TV archives


Who can ever forget The Phantom Flan Finger, the flan-flinging fixture of Seventies kids show Tiswas? Certainly not the show guests and nominated members of the public who fell prey to his pie and shaving cream exploits. Here TOTP dancers Legs and Co get a proper flanning.


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