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The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Mystery  -  June 1991 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 503 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 9 critic

A tangled triangle. In the rural South of the early 20th century, Miss Amelia is the town eccentric, selling corn liquor and dispensing medicine. She takes in her half-sister's son, a ... See full summary »

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Title: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Cork Hubbert ...
...
...
Lawyer Taylor
...
Lanny Flaherty ...
Mert Hatfield ...
Stumpy McPhail
...
Anne Pitoniak ...
Mrs. McPhail
Frederick Johnson ...
Jeff
Lauri Raymond ...
Sadie Ricketts
...
Henry Ford Crimp (as Joe Stephens)
Keith Wommack ...
Tom Rainey
Kevin Wommack ...
George Rainey
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Storyline

A tangled triangle. In the rural South of the early 20th century, Miss Amelia is the town eccentric, selling corn liquor and dispensing medicine. She takes in her half-sister's son, a diminutive crook-back named Lymon. He suggests they open a café in the downstairs of her large house. Marvin Macy gets out of prison and returns to town; turns out he was married to Amelia but it wasn't consummated. He pleaded, then got angry. Is he back for revenge? Eventually, Amelia and Marvin stage a no-holds-barred fight in the café. Lymon's complicated response to Marvin and to Cousin Amelia figures in the resolution. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a scene of violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

June 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Balada das Paixões  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$184,890 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" by Edward Albee opened at the Martin Beck Theater in New York on October 30, 1963, ran for 123 performances, won the 1964 Tony Award for the Best Play and was the basis for the screenplay for this filmed production. See more »

Goofs

Several times earlier in the film, we are shown how the only way to arrive at Miss Amelia's secret still is by wading - neck-deep - through a muddy swamp. Yet late in the film when Marvin Macy and Cousin Lymon are shown at Miss Amelia's still, their clothes are clean and dry. See more »

Quotes

Mary Hale: Marvin changed himself. That time he loved Miss Amelia. Well, it seemed like he changed completely -- he was -- he was good to me, and to Henry... You remember that, doncha'?
Rev. Willin: I remember that.
Mary Hale: Why'd she throw him out? Why'd she marry him and then throw him out? Why?
Rev. Willin: I don't know. All I know is... that it takes two people to be in love. It takes the... lover... and the beloved. But these two, they come from... diff'rent countries. And sometimes, the... the belove is the cause for all the, all the...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features New York Nights (1929) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An impressive work
19 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film demonstrates an excellent use of both dialog and cinematography to evoke a mysterious, yet stark atmosphere. Redgrave is especially excellent in her portrayal of a character that defies easy description or explanation. The score, too, works to create a specific place, but never falls to the easy trap of using simple folk-music styles in order to provide a sonic backdrop.

Overall, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe is a haunting and beautiful exploration of human emotions and inhuman behaviors. I would highly recommend this film to everyone interested in an eerie combination of the real and surreal.


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