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The Spitfire Grill
The Spitfire Grill
Actors: Alison Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, Marcia Gay Harden, Will Patton, Kieran Mulroney
Director: Lee David Zlotoff
Genres: Drama
PG-13     1999     1hr 57min

A WOMAN JUST OUT OF JAIL MAKES A NEW LIFE IN A SMALL MAINE TOWN. SPECIAL FEATURE: THEATRICAL TRAILER. SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH AND FRENCH.

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Alison Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, Marcia Gay Harden, Will Patton, Kieran Mulroney
Director: Lee David Zlotoff
Creators: Lee David Zlotoff, Deborah Stitt, Edward E. Vaughan, Forrest Murray, Linda H. Miller, Marci Liroff, Warren G. Stitt
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Turner Home Ent
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/07/1999
Original Release Date: 08/23/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 08/23/1996
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 57min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 26
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Sarah F. (Ferdy63) from DALTON, GA
Reviewed on 3/20/2009...
Love this movie! A young woman named Percy tries starting over after being in prison by working at the Spitfire Grill in a small town in Maine. She is at first shy and withdrawn but her relationships with the townspeople help her learn to trust again and she really starts to bloom. Her presence in the insular community also leads to other changes for the residents. Only after a tragedy do people realize what Percy has done for them. It's a completely heartwarming film. I don't know what happened to the actress who played Percy. She was great but I haven't seen her in anything else.
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

A Heartbreaking Look at Pain
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 06/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This very touching and rewarding film was brought to prominence thanks in large part to Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival. It is a slow and gentle film which is true to life and makes us actually feel its pain. Often described as a small film, it is rather a very large film about the small things in life. The small town of Gilead, Maine is the setting for this tender drama you will never forget once you have seen it.

Alison Elliot gives a quiet yet unforgettable performance as Percy Talbot, a young girl fresh from prison and trying to start her life over. One of the most touching moments in the film comes shortly after Percy reveals the reason she had been incarcerated, with the words: "I thought maybe, in some place small...." It is quiet and heartbreaking, like the entire film.

The day to day life of a small town and its people is perfectly captured as Percy comes to work for Hannah (Ellen Burstyn) at The Spitfire Grill. Hannah is a woman who knows about pain and gives Percy a chance. Marcia Gay Harden gives a fine performance as a shy and sweet soul who befriends Percy. Her husband uses her for a doorstop and hates Percy for being her friend and encouraging her to be herself. It is a hatred which will bring about tragedy.

Many lives are touched in this small town by Percy, who has seemingly found her home at The Spitfire Grill in Gilead, Maine. Percy slowly becomes part of Hannah's life as she leaves food out back of the Grill at Hannah's request that is mysteriously gone the next morning. But there is always an underlying sadness to Percy's past which prevents any kind of permanence. Her deep sadness extends to a young man who wants a life that Percy can not give.

This film reminds us in a sad and deeply moving way that life does not always give us the chance to start over. But there is also redemption and the message that what we do in our lives does affect others and can even change the way they think.

Alison Elliot is magnificent here, giving a Kevin Spacey like performance of so much going on just beneath the surface. A beautiful score from James Horner a year before Titanic matches perfectly the quiet beauty of the story. The supporting cast is equally good in this wonderful and moving film you will remember for a long, long time....."
Modern Tragedy
J. C. Woods | Malden, MA USA | 10/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With what it costs to make movies these days, we seldom get a genuinely tragedy. Seldom is now. The story revolves around a "wounded healer." Those familiar with "The Song of Bernadette" know what I am on about: the "wounded healer" goes about making everybody's life better, healing estrangements, supporting the broken hearted, making the weak to stand on their own two feet. The problem is that her magic cannot work for her. She can't heal herself. And she is the most injured person she knows. Of course, there are those skeptics who are not healed because they refuse to accept her gift. In this case, it is Nahum (played marvelously by Will Patten) who is the heavy. The result is inevitable as the circle closes and Percy's do-gooding manages to heal everybody, but herself. A great movie. A tear jerker that really gives you something to cry about. My only criticism is Alison Elliot is no singer and she doesn't know the tune to "Balm in Gilead.""
A wonderful story about the power of hope and compassion.
Bobby Underwood | 09/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a story of a young woman with a second chance who picks a small town in Maine to start over. She battles with some small-town minds who are unforgiving but gains the love and support of some. The viewer gets to see lives being changed as each of the main characters struggles with their own issues. Suitable for family viewing although one part of the movie will need to be discussed with pre-teens. If you're looking for a movie with some good, old-fashioned messages of love-one-another, this is it. It's well done and worth more than one look."