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The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Mystery | June 1991 (USA)
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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 »

Director:

Simon Callow

Writers:

Edward Albee (play), Michael Hirst | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vanessa Redgrave ... Miss Amelia
Keith Carradine ... Marvin Macy
Cork Hubbert ... Cousin Lymon
Rod Steiger ... Rev. Willin
Austin Pendleton ... Lawyer Taylor
Beth Dixon ... Mary Hale
Lanny Flaherty ... Merlie Ryan
Mert Hatfield Mert Hatfield ... Stumpy McPhail
Earl Hindman ... Henry Macy
Anne Pitoniak Anne Pitoniak ... Mrs. McPhail
Frederick Johnson Frederick Johnson ... Jeff
Lauri Raymond Lauri Raymond ... Sadie Ricketts
Joe Stevens ... Henry Ford Crimp (as Joe Stephens)
Keith Wommack 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:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ballad of the Sad Café See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,343, 5 May 1991

Gross USA:

$184,890

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$184,890
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of a number of collaborations of director Simon Callow with Merchant Ivory Productions (MIP) where Callow in all the other productions has worked as an actor except for The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991). Callow's MIP films as an actor include Maurice (1987), Howards End (1992), Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990), A Room with a View (1985) and Jefferson in Paris (1995) and as himself in In Ismail's Custody (1994). 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 »

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User Reviews

 
I don't get what people are talking about
24 May 2006 | by Louisville88See all my reviews

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe is a great film. I guess everyone who couldn't stand it saw it, because I just saw it (5-23-06) and thought it was a good movie. I might also add that I was very sleepy, and I always fall asleep while watching a film. I've slept through The African Queen, The Lion in Winter and other great classics that are praised by critics alike. This gives the film that added bonus that I can stay awake while watching it. Vanessa Redgrave is wonderful, as usual, and delivers a great performance. The other actors I have a question about, their names, but the actor who played Cousin Lyman was good. I couldn't stand him at all for what he was doing to Amelie. The ending scene is very good and heartbreaking. I mean, I'd watch this 10 times in a row to see Vanessa box with some punk husband who she never truly loved and never thought of their marriage as a give and take, but more of a contract. This is a great film!


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