The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991) - Plot Summary Poster


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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 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.

  • Marvin Macy doesn't return from prison to marry Amelia, he married Amelia before he went to prison, was rejected by her on their wedding night and was permanently relegated to sleep in a shed. She ruthlessly drives him away. Marvin returns after being released from prison to spoil the brief period of happiness Amelia has enjoyed with her newfound relation, which leads to the bare-knuckle fight.


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