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Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  24 January 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 49,042 users  
Reviews: 164 user | 53 critic

A housewife who is unhappy with her life befriends an old lady in a nursing home and is enthralled by the tales she tells of people she used to know.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Scott ...
Smokey Lonesome (as Tim Scott)
Mama Threadgoode
Women's Awareness Teacher
Prosecutor Percy
Reverend Scroggins
Sheriff Curtis Smoote


Evelyn Couch is having trouble in her marriage, and no one seems to take her seriously. While in a nursing home visiting relatives, she meets Ninny Threadgoode, an outgoing old woman, who tells her the story of Idgie Threadgoode, a young woman in 1920's Alabama. Through Idgie's inspiring life, Evelyn learns to be more assertive and builds a lasting friendship of her own with Ninny. Written by Kevin <Kibble@vm.temple.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The secret of life? The secret's in the sauce.




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 January 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tomates verdes fritos  »

Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)


$80,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The house where Ruth lives with her husband is located in rural Pike County, GA. See more »


Evelyn's pearls when she goes to the hospital to visit Ninny. See more »


Ninny Threadgoode: Hey Evelyn, somebody stole my house.
See more »


Referenced in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003) See more »


My Blue Heaven
Written by Walter Donaldson and George Whiting
Performed by Gene Austin and His Orchestra
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

As good as it gets.
18 March 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This movie might easily pass you by. It's quirky, long-winded title suggests something arty or perhaps comical in a needlessly pretentious way. Well; it is arty, and it is often funny, but there isn't a particle of pretentiousness. I got to see it only because my newspaper included it as a free DVD in the weekend issue. But for that, I might still be in ignorance now.

It seems incredible that something so wonderful can be had for nothing.

Kathy Bates plays the role of a mature but still comparatively young woman who has a marriage going nowhere. Her husband has reached the point where he just doesn't seem to care any more. Actually, it's not that he doesn't care; he just hasn't noticed how bad things have got. Like so many couples, they have just let themselves slip into a rut.

However; she has noticed, and means to do something about it. When hints, make-overs and candlelit dinners prove inadequate, she finds unexpected inspiration in a feisty old woman called Ninny Threadgoode.

This woman - played by Jessica Tandy - dilates upon her past, and in particular, a friendship between two young women called Idgie and Ruth (Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary Louise Parker). The movie then shifts between the present-day circumstances of an increasingly emancipated wife, and the flashback reminiscences of her inspiration.

Some have rather misguidedly referred to this movie as a 'chick-flick' as if it were dedicated to a female audience or in some way espoused the cause of feminism. Such opinions do a disservice. To see it in this light, because the principal parts are female, is like dismissing 'The Shawshank Redemption' as a male 'buddy' movie. Both are about two people who's enduring friendship unites them against adversity. Lesbian love is barely hinted at.

Director, Jon Aunet has created a spellbinding work. It has a wonderful, lyrical fidelity, like a Renoir painting, whereby the few moments of comedy appear as small, flagrant brush-strokes in an otherwise pastel completeness. There are moments of heartbreaking and tender subtlety when Thomas Newman's music score expresses human feeling more fluently than the spoken word.

Sound-engineers seldom receive the recognition they deserve. All too easily we take the ambiance of the moment completely for granted. Viewers should pay particular attention to the authenticity of this movie, and marvel. The dreary interior of an unhappy home or the mildness of a sunlit summer-evening carry such authentic presence that one can almost feel the chill of anger, the sweetness of the season.

Some have found fault with this movie somewhere. I confess to being too lachrymose to see anything other than the director's intentions. Excellent script, flawless acting, impeccably chosen music and ambiance to reach out and touch.

This is a truly redeeming experience. Amongst the spoil-heaps of formulaic Hollywood wretchedness, gems like this help remind us that humanity is still worth caring about.

The detail of life is what really gives us meaning.

21 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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