Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

4.8 27
Director: Jon Avnet

Cast: Jon Avnet, Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson

     
 

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A woman learns the value of friendship as she hears the story of two women and how their friendship shaped their lives in this warm comedy-drama. Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) is an emotionally repressed housewife with a habit of drowning her sorrows in candy bars. Her husband Ed (Gailard Sartain) barely acknowledges her existence, and while he visits his aunt at a… See more details below

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Overview

A woman learns the value of friendship as she hears the story of two women and how their friendship shaped their lives in this warm comedy-drama. Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) is an emotionally repressed housewife with a habit of drowning her sorrows in candy bars. Her husband Ed (Gailard Sartain) barely acknowledges her existence, and while he visits his aunt at a nursing home every week, Evelyn is not permitted to come into the room because the old women doesn't like her. One week, while waiting out Ed's visit, Evelyn meets Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy), a frail but feisty old woman who lives at the same nursing home and loves to tell stories. Over the span of several weeks, she spins a whopper about one of her relatives, Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson). Back in the 1920s, Idgie was a sweet but fiercely independent woman with her own way of doing things who ran the town diner in Whistle Stop, Alabama. Idgie was very close to her brother Buddy (Chris O'Donnell), and when he died, she wouldn't talk to anyone except Buddy's girl, Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker). Idgie gave Ruth a job at the cafe after she left her abusive husband, Frank Bennett (Nick Searcy). Between her habit of standing up for herself, standing up to Frank, and serving food to Black people out the back of the diner, Idgie raised the ire of the less tolerant citizens of Whistle Stop, and when Frank mysteriously disappeared, many locals suspected that Idgie, Ruth, and their friends may have been responsible. Evelyn finds herself looking forward to her weekly visits with Ninny, and is inspired by her story to take a new pride in herself and assert her independence from Ed. Fried Green Tomatoes was based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by actress-turned-author Fannie Flagg, who makes a cameo appearance as the leader of a self-help group.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The very model of the contemporary "chick flick," Fried Green Tomatoes still ranks among the best of the breed. Adapted from her bestselling novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Fanny Flagg's screenplay expertly evokes the 1920s in the Deep South while drawing a vivid picture of female resourcefulness and fortitude. Skillfully slipping in and out of time periods, the dual story unfolds as dowdy, unhappily married Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates), begins visiting a nursing home to chat with Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy). The still sprightly Ninny, a former resident of Whistle Stop, Alabama, tells Evelyn about a young woman named Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker), who operated the book's titular café, which specialized in breaded fried green tomatoes. Married to a loutish redneck, Ruth grew much closer to her friend Idgie Threadgoode (Mary Stuart Masterson), her partner in the café. The flashback sequences to the 1920s describe Whistle Stop's racial tensions, which bubble over into violence when Ruth's no-account husband disappears and is presumed to have been murdered by a black man named Big George (Stan Shaw). Less specifically described, but clearly inferred, is a lesbian relationship between Ruth and Idgie. Director Jon Avnet elicits terrific performances from Parker and Masterson, who were then near the beginning of their careers. Avnet sensitively portrays Flagg's underlying subject -- a narrow-minded society's response to nonconformity -- without wallowing in sentimentality or preachiness. The result is an uplifting movie that wins new fans with every screening.
All Movie Guide
Fried Green Tomatoes is a warm adaptation of Fannie Flagg's popular women's novel that does equal justice to its two featured time periods, while offering useful messages about friendship and standing up for oneself. However, it does teeter on the edge of man-hating and the related exaggerations now and again. How else to explain that sympathetic Ruth Jamison (Mary Louise-Parker) gets romantically entwined with a man so loathsome that not only does he beat her, but he's also a member of the Ku Klux Klan? Fried Green Tomatoes is certainly short on subtlety, polarizing its characters into selfless saints and cruel sinners, but this approach does deliver an unambiguous rallying cry for viewers to apply its self-help agenda to their own lives. Kathy Bates' Evelyn Couch is the viewer's surrogate, as well as the most common demographic of Flagg's readership; overweight and bossed around by her husband, she takes the yarn spun by Jessica Tandy's Ninny Threadgoode and uses is it to channel her dormant feminism. The script, as adapted by Flagg, director Jon Avnet, and Carol Sobieski, is sometimes quite leaden, oozing with simplistic Southern metaphors and the kind of melodrama that features not one, but two accidents involving locomotives. But it can also be subtle, especially in handling the unspoken lesbianism of Mary Stuart Masterson's Idgie Threadgoode. Fried Green Tomatoes is the kind of epic of pop feminism and the old South that should be a favorite for those who gravitate toward these topics. Others may find it heavy-handed, but still worthwhile.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/06/2006
UPC:
0025192508127
Original Release:
1991
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:17:00
Sales rank:
1,668

Special Features

New Digitally remastered extended version & 5.1 surround sound; Deleted scenes; Outtakes; Moments of Discovery: The Making of Fried Green Tomatoes; Feature commentary with director Jon Avnet; Jon Avnet's director's notes; Sipsey's recipes; Poster campaign; Production photographs

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kathy Bates Evelyn Couch
Jessica Tandy Ninny Threadgoode
Mary Stuart Masterson Idgie Threadgoode
Mary-Louise Parker Ruth Jamison
Cicely Tyson Sipsey
Nick Searcy Frank Bennett
Gailard Sartain Ed Couch
Stan Shaw Big George
Gary Basaraba Grady Kilgore
Jo Harvey Allen Women's Awareness Teacher
Nancy Moore Atchison Little Idgie
Suzi Bass Nurse
Reid Binion Young Julian
Haynes Brooke Older Julian
Michael Burgess Wingo, Man at BBQ
Chris O'Donnell Buddy Threadgoode
David Dwyer Hooded Man
Tom Even Judge
Genevieve Fisher Peggy Hadley
Fannie Flagg Teacher
Grayson Fricke Buddy Jr.
Bob Hannah Defense Attorney
Tres Holton Boy at Supermarket
Catherine Larson Girl #1
Evan Lockwood Tim
Ted Manson Bailiff
James Mayberry Orderly
Ronald McCall Ocie
Macon McCalman Prosecutor
Wallace Merck KKK Man
Carole Mitchell-Leon Sue Otis
Danny Nelson Papa Threadgoode
Enjolik Oree Older Naughty Bird
Ginny Parker Ruth's Mother
Bob Penny Bailiff
Lashondra Phillips Young Naughty Bird
La Tanya Richardson Janeen
Richard Riehle Reverend Scroggins
Raynor Scheine Curtis Smoote
Timothy Scott Smokey Lonesome
Constance Shulman Missy
Afton Smith Leona Threadgoode
Lois Smith Mama Threadgoode
Missy Wolff 2nd Girl
Grace Zabriskie Eva Bates

Technical Credits
Jon Avnet Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Fern Buchner Makeup
Sara Duvall Producer
Mary H. Ellis Sound/Sound Designer
Fannie Flagg Screenwriter,Source Author
Larry Fulton Art Director
Anne Marie Gillen Producer
Martin Huberty Co-producer
Jordan Kerner Producer
Norman Lear Executive Producer
Lisa Lindstrom Co-producer
Barbara Ling Producer,Production Designer
Deborah Love Asst. Director,Producer
Yuriko Matsubara Producer
Elizabeth McBride Costumes/Costume Designer
Andrew Meyer Executive Producer
Debra Neil Editor
Thomas Newman Score Composer
Ric Rondell Co-producer
David Rubin Casting
Shannon Silverman Producer
Geoffrey Simpson Cinematographer
Carol Sobieski Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Fried Green Tomatoes
1. Opening Logos [:24]
2. Main Titles [2:12]
3. The Sound of the Train [2:18]
4. Ninny [1:27]
5. The Tale of Idgie Threadgoode [2:59]
6. Buddy and Little Bit [2:24]
7. Ruth [1:49]
8. The Train Tracks [3:58]
9. The Magic, That Spark [4:09]
10. After Buddy [2:38]
11. Taming Towanda [3:21]
12. A Train Ride With Idgie [4:27]
13. The Beer Charmer [3:31]
14. The Best Birthday I've Ever Had [3:28]
15. Reclaiming Our Power [2:30]
16. Ruth's New Life [6:16]
17. Reclaiming Ruth [4:01]
18. The Change [3:39]
19. A Separate God for Children [1:47]
20. The Whistle Stop Café [2:16]
21. Smokey Lonesome [2:18]
22. The Cooking Lesson [2:30]
23. The Coming of the Klan [5:52]
24. The Last of Frank Bennett [2:20]
25. The Sheriff From Georgia [4:16]
26. He Won't Bother You Again [3:55]
27. Towanda the Avenger [4:12]
28. Smokey's Return [2:06]
29. So Long, Old Pal [1:21]
30. The Murder of a White Man [2:20]
31. The Trial [3:33]
32. The Last Witness [:08]
33. A Whole Lot of Nothing [1:36]
34. A Few Changes [2:20]
35. Ninny's Birthday [1:08]
36. The Cancer [3:33]
37. The Time for Courage [1:47]
38. A Lady Knows When to Leave [2:36]
39. Two Women in the House [7:01]
40. Going Home [3:37]
41. The Secret's in the Sauce [5:00]
42. Idgie's Alive? [5:05]
43. End Titles [3:39]

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