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.
June 1991 (USA)
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Also Known As:
The Ballad of the Sad Café
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Gross USA: $184,890
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Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?
The official Merchant Ivory Productions website says of this film that producer Ismail Merchant
's "...inspiration for it came to him as early as 1972 when his friend Anthony Korner
gave him a copy of the book to read. Merchant was impressed by it, but after inquiring into the rights, learned that they had been given by the [author Carson] McCullers estate to Edward Albee
, who had adapted the story as a Broadway play in 1962. He also discovered that the play and the rights to the story had merged. Years passed while Albee waited for an interest in the property from a Hollywood studio; but none materialized, and in 1988 Merchant acquired an option. By then he had already discussed the project with Vanessa Redgrave
, who admired the work and was interested in taking on the challenging role of Miss Amelia. Financing for the $3.5 million project proved extraordinarily difficult to obtain, but was finally underwritten, in part, by England's Channel Four television, Curzon Films, and Joseph Saleh
's Angelika Films...". See more
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
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'?
I remember that.
Why'd she throw him out? Why'd she marry him and then throw him out? Why?
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...
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