The Spitfire Grill 1996 (1996) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Percy, upon being released from prison, goes to the small town of Gillead, to find a place where she can start over again. She is taken in by Hannah, to help out at her place, the Spitfire ... Runtime: 117 mins Release Date: 06 Sep 1996
Beautifully done in a beautiful part of our world. (by joeestlinbm)
Everyone has their opinion, and mine on this particular film, is that it's one of the best to have ever graced the screen of my TV.I'm from typical small town America, and to quite a degree,Gilead depicts this sort of life. Clannish, and less than trusting, when it comes to new folks, but what impressed me as much as anything was the unbelievable authenticity of Alison Elliotts southern accent. I had to look her up on the net to see if she was from the south, or not. She's not, but I am, and being familiar with my own accent, I can tell you she did it perfectly.I've watched it <more>
about six, or seven times, and will likely watch it that many more before Let it rest for a while.If you like beautiful scenery, small town life, and folks who are just a little short of being odd, you'll love this movie.
Brilliant! Wonderful script, acting, music and message. (by nz man)
One of the reviews below states "I notice most of the negative reviews have been posted by men who obviously have no sensitivity." Well, as a 51 yr old man, I can tell you that I really loved this film and it did touch my heart and spirit. One of the best films that I have seen!The three lead actresses were superb, especially Alison Elliott as Percy. It was all so 'real', and portrays small town life in an authentic, respectful manner. Everything was refreshing, including the deeper messages about life's struggles regarding relationships and inner psychological <more>
problems."Why aren't more films this good?" Indeed !!For me, this film is better than "Fried Green Tomatoes" since it is not so blatantly anti-male think about this! .
This is an excellent "chic flick". Have the Kleenex box close by, it's a real tear jerker. The movie takes place in a small New England town. It's social comment is: "Don't judge a book by it's cover." Poor Percy was jailed for the crime of killing her tormentor. She did her time and paid for her crime but not everybody felt that way. Nahum, in particular, had a rough lesson to learn about judgement. What Percy doesn't know is that she is going to be the catalyst to ignite growth again in the little town of Gilead. She helps every "townie" in <more>
one way or another with her simple, uneducated truths and her honest and open view of the world. She's a breath of fresh air this town needed if it was going to grow and mature. Take a look at this movie. You will find it gets under your skin and you are rooting for Percy to make this her home, this little town named Gilead.
Once again Hollywood's reviews mean nothing (by slp00)
This movie got pretty bad reviews from the Hollywood Hype-mongers. I suppose because it didn't have a lot of flash. All it had was a well-written original story and superb acting with real characters. Anyone who has ever spent time in a small town can identify with nearly all the characters. I could practically name them all in the town I grew up in. I'm sure the only people who would NOT enjoy this movie are the ones who grew up in Hollywood and believe everyone is like them. If thats not you, rent this movie for a truly enjoyable evening. But you might want to bring tissues. <more>
It's a very warm and often funny movie, but it's also very sad in some places. Will Patton is incredible and I honestly don't understand why Alison Elliott hasn't been used more than she has since this movie. Ellen Burstyn was glorious as ever :
A rare movie. A good plot. Good acting. I would rate this as one of the 250 best of all time. It is not many movies that leave you with a feeling of "wow, that was great." This is one. Recommended that everyone who wants to experience hope sees it.
The trepidation of accepting an ex-con in a country setting. (by john-jennings-1)
I happen to love chick flicks-if that is what this film is categorized as.I love this movie, as do so many others who've made comments before me in the IMDb site. It was one of those films where I held my breath throughout, sensing an evil that would probably overtake the heroine before the picture ended.And so it did. The ending angered me greatly...here we have this wonderful character Percy who begins to grow on the residents and is finally being accepted,except for one mouthy,jealous bigot,- real-estate agent Nahum Goddard,who will not accept Percy into their midst.This misshapen <more>
belief finally leads to a grave misunderstanding by the citizenry who hunt Percy down, which ends in her drowning in a rushing stream. At the end Nahum admits he was wrong to judge Percy so harshly but darn it all the harm has been done. I was angry at director Lee David Zlotoff who had the "power" to make this a happy ending. He wrote the script!!! Let's say for example that Nahum Goddard had drowned saving Percy in that stream. The man would have gone to his death via an act of redemption isn't that a religious quality held dear by a tight Christian community and our heroine would have gone on living happily ever after in a comfortable setting. I saw this film when it came out, and I even have 2-3 copies of it on DVD and VHS but I can just not watch it again. I know how sad the ending will be. I still give the film a 9 1/2 though,it was still a great production. I need to express my ratings in fractions . If Percy had not been killed off I would have given it a 10 for perfection, no question. I'm sorry, but if a beloved character is killed off "unnecssarily", then I can not give the film a 10. Too bad I had not been in one of the advance screenings to express my views. If film companies and the Director/Producer want a 10 from me they had better try for a happy,or at least satisfying ending if at all possible. So much of life is a tragedy and that's why in part we go to the movies to get away from reality, to get a quick shot of hope and to see some element of happiness, even in dramatic circumstances.Percy did not deserve to die after all of us had fallen so much in love with her persona. Could we stand a Spitfire Grill 2 where she miraculously appears one day alive and well? Probably not...Darn it all Lee David Zlotoff, what were you thinking?
As the first scene unfolds we see women apparently working in a travel office, giving information to those who call. But as the camera pulls back, and we see bars, we realize it is a prison, and the inmates are unusual employees of the state of Maine.Set in Gilead, Maine, Percy Talbot Alison Elliot is being released from 5 years behind bars and travels here to pick up her life, and in the process helps heal a small town. Originally from Ohio, nothing has gone good for her yet. Now, in town, the local sheriff forgot that he was supposed to see about her. But nice older owner of the Spitfire <more>
Grill, Hannah Ellen Burstyn , takes Percy in and puts her to work. In this very small town everyone is curious about Percy, but none as much as Hannah's nephew, Nahum Will Patton , who has taken it upon himself to watch out for Hannah. He simply does not trust Percy, even though she is a model employee. Marcia Gay Harden is good as Nahum's simpleton wife, Shelby.Hannah unwisely uses a chair at home above the grill to get something high and falls, breaking her leg. Percy and Shelby share duties to keep the grill running somewhat smoothly. But Hannah decides she needs to get rid of the business and Nahum has not been successful selling it for her. Percy had once heard about someone holding a contest, told Shelby about it, who suggested it to Hannah, and off they were, to the consternation of Nahum. The inmate friends of Shelby got the notice in newspapers all over the USA, and entries rolled in, with $100 bills included for the entry fee.The contest was successful beyond their dreams, pulling in so many entries that all the townspeople had to pitch in, reading essays and helping pick the winner. But Nahum became very nervous about all the money, still not trusting Percy.MAJOR SPOILERS. To be on the safe side, Nahum sneaked into Hannah's place at night to get the money and put it in a cloth sack to carry it to a safe place. However, Percy came in at that time to gather the food items for Hannah to put out each night for the mysterious man that she came to call "Johnny Bee" from Johnny Be Good , used the sack not knowing money was in it, and put it out at the usual place near the wood pile. The next day when it was discovered that all the money was gone Nahum could have done the right thing but played dumb instead, everyone was chasing Percy, who was looking for "Johnny Bee", spooked by all the cops and dogs. Percy was trying to cross the river to get to him when she was swept away and over some rapids and drowned. At her funeral Nahum admitted his role, and took responsibility for Percy's death.MORE SPOILERS. "Johnny Bee" turned out to be Hannah's long lost son, who was never the same after the war. Police found the money at his campsite in the woods, he had begun to use some of it to make artistic designs. In the end he came back to be with his mother, having been shown some hope by his interactions with Percy. We learn that Percy had been sexually abused from the age of 9 by her step-dad, who impregnated her when she was 16. He also caused the death of her unborn baby, and she killed him because of the abuse, but still got 5 years' prison time.The movie ends as we see another new face in town, a 20-something young lady with a small son, the winner of the essay contest and new owner of the Spitfire Grill, so named for the WW2 fighter plane that Hannah's husband had been fond of. We hear her essay in a voice over, her wanting to make a new start for her young son.
For a film that won the audience award at Sundance, this film must have played briefly in this area, as I have no memory of it when it was released. I saw it on cable recently; it was a surprise, but in retrospect, there are a few things that bothered me later.It appears this is the first film for the director. Lee David Zlotoff is a product of television, as far as I've learned. Not having seen anything he has created before, I can only compare this film to similar fare one sees in the "movie-of-the-week" film made for that medium.I have no way of knowing if the accents these <more>
actors speak are really from Maine, or from the South, as I have never met any one from that state where the action takes place. That said, the film will not disappoint because it tells a good story. It's easy to like, although it is predictable.Young Percy Talbot can't shake her past. Instead of fleeing to a big city and getting lost there, she selects the small town of Gilead in rural Maine. Her choice of locales will proves Percy wrong. In the town, she manages to touch the lives of a lot of the local folk, who in return, show her kindness, after an initial rejection.Allison Elliott was effective as the young woman. Ellen Burstyn, as Hannah, is quite good. Marcia Gay Harden underplays Shelby, the woman who gains Percy's trust. Will Patton is the only one that has nothing to do in the film.
Spitfire Grill-Get The Charcoal Ready for this One *** (by edwagreen)
Whatever became of Alison Elliott, the heroine of this film? She gave an extremely believable performance here as a woman released from prison for killing the stepfather who had impregnated her and then had caused the death of the baby by beating the mother.Ellen Burstyn is the old lady who Elliott goes to work for. As always, Burstyn again proves that she is at her best when she does her mean, crotchety acting. It's another fine job.The story will tug at your heart since it's a tragic one. It again proves that you can't always judge people by what has happened in their lives. <more>
This misconception brings on the tragedy at the end that will drive you to tears.Note an interesting performance by Marcia Gay Harden, as a blond, worker of the Burstyn character who befriends Elliott.This is a very good study of rural life and human relationships.