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98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic edition for this 15th Anniversary!
Every decade has its chick flicks that define those years and feature a who's who of up-and-coming actresses mixed with veterans. In the 1980s, it was Steel Magnolias and in the 1990s it was Fried Green Tomatoes, a southern folktale based on the novel by Fannie Flagg (who also co-wrote the screenplay).

Fried Green Tomatoes is a beautiful shot film that really...
Published on June 14, 2006 by Cubist

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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This DVD is NOT the Original Theatrical Release of the Film
I loved "Fried Green Tomatoes" at the theater and the old VHS video version (which is the only version on which you can see the original theatrical release), but unfortunately, both DVD versions insert extra scenes which ruin some of the seemless transitions between flashbacks and present-time which were the hallmark of "Fried Green Tomatoes". The extra scenes aren't...
Published on July 5, 2008 by A reader


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98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic edition for this 15th Anniversary!, June 14, 2006
By 
Cubist (United States) - See all my reviews
Every decade has its chick flicks that define those years and feature a who's who of up-and-coming actresses mixed with veterans. In the 1980s, it was Steel Magnolias and in the 1990s it was Fried Green Tomatoes, a southern folktale based on the novel by Fannie Flagg (who also co-wrote the screenplay).

Fried Green Tomatoes is a beautiful shot film that really evokes the rich, lush setting of the Deep South. Director Jon Avnet also uses warm colours to create an inviting atmosphere that draws the audience in. There is real artistic integrity to the camerawork which gives the film a Classic Hollywood vibe.

Fried Green Tomatoes is the perfect lazy Sunday summer afternoon movie that evokes simpler times. The film makes us appreciate taking the time out of our busy lives to stop and smell the roses as it were. The film espouses a simple yet important message of tolerance and compassion towards one another but not in a preachy way. It is a message that is certainly applicable today (maybe even more so) making Fried Green Tomatoes even more relevant.

There are a collection of "Deleted Scenes" that are really just little bits of added footage tagged on at the end of or in-between scenes. There is nothing too memorable here.

Also included, is an amusing collection of "Outtakes," featuring flubs and blown lines.

"Moments of Discovery: The Making of Fried Green Tomatoes" is an engaging, endearing retrospective documentary that runs just over an hour. Good news for fans is that Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker contribute new interviews and warmly recall filming anecdotes, including working in the intense Georgian heat, how Masterson really handled all those bees and Parker's run-in with some nasty leeches. This is a must-watch for any fan of this movie.

"Sipsey's Recipes" include actual recipes for over 15 dishes that are taken from Flagg's book and that allow you to recreate the Whistle Stop Café's cuisine. This is a really nice touch.

"Jon Avnet's Director's Notes" includes script excerpts with specific directions he used as a guide when making the movie.

There are "Production Photographs" that include behind-the-scenes pics of the delicious food and also the movie crew at work.

"Poster Campaign" features various poster designs for the movie, including some really nice hand-drawn ones that are quite artistic in nature.

Finally, there is an audio commentary by director Jon Avnet. He takes us through his filmmaking process switching back and forth between talking about the themes of the film and production anecdotes.
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104 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Movie!, October 16, 2005
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My husband had been asking me to watch this movie with him for years - it was one of his favorites (from before we met), even though he continually called it a "chick flick"... I was hesitant to watch it because I had the idea that it would be a sad movie - and I just don't like movies that leave me blubbering & saddened for the rest of the day.

However, last weekend we finally sat down and watched it together, and I was pleasantly surprised! Although there was 1 or 2 parts that led me to cry, it was not what I would categorize as a "sad" movie - in fact, when I really think about it, it was quite uplifting...

"Fried Green Tomatoes" weaves the life experiences of 3 very different women - 2 of them lived their youth about 50 or 60 years ago, and one is currently 40 something years old.

The story revolves around an "old" woman who is sharing her & her friends life experiences with the younger, 40-something woman. This younger woman is quite depressed, feeling like a weakling who doesn't really matter. She gains strength and a will to really LIVE through the stories shared with her. Spending time with the "old woman" becomes an important, life changing event for her - helping her to step-up and be the woman she truly wants to be.

This movie shows the importance of being willing to listen & learn from others - as well as the wealth of knowledge & experience that our elderly population has - if only we would take the time to engage them in discussion & listen to what they have to offer.

Overall, I give this movie "2 thumbs up"! If you're at all interested in human growth, and the "good old days", then this movie's for you!
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Adaptation, July 23, 2004
By 
Jay (Tallahassee, FL, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I love this movie. I watched it and fell in love with Idgie and Ruth, both wonderfully quirky and southern. I'd marry either in a heartbeat and count my blessings.

The rendering is faithful in many ways to Flagg's book: Whistle Stop teems with life in all its contradictions, the actors portrayals are flawless (especially Masterson's of Idgie), the screenplay is spot-on (probably because Flagg assisted), and the artistry is close to that of the book's (anecdotal flashbacks). That the directors found a town in Georgia and not Alabama doesn't matter. We are transported to a special and endearing place in time, and we want to stay.

Everything about this movie works. Watch it and enjoy.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and original, May 7, 1999
By A Customer
Some films get the harmless distinction of being called "Chick-Flicks." This is nothing to be ashamed of. I am a male who loves watching films about women because I not only learn something but I get trawled away from the male-oriented films that are so stereotyped and predictable. If I could take a movie to a deserted island, I would choose "Fried Green Tomatoes" over just about anything. It magnificently tells a multi-layered, multi-demensional story of two very beautiful women. The first is a character played by Kathy Bates. Her name is Evelyn and her inner beauty (she's sensitive and sweet) is enshrouded by her exterior, which is, to say the least, a cause for self-ridicule. She's not really fat--but chunky, not unattractive--just average; and this is killing her. When all hope gets lost she meets another beautiful woman--an octogenerian named Ninny. Ninny's beauty comes from her glowing vitality and her undiminished love for life. As this story unfolds we are introduced to two other women--Idgy and Ruth who were close friends and lived during the Depression. Yes, they too have their own inner and outer beauty and, in a way, foreshadow their modern day counterparts Ninny and Evelyn.
This movie will make you laugh, cry, cringe in anger and leap for joy. It brings out all these emotions without being overly sappy (okay, there is some appropriate sappiness) and without being preachy. They even throw in a murder mystery. One of my favorite characters is the old drifter named "Smokey-Lonesome." His love for Ruth is so pure (and he's such a gentleman) that he never tells her. For those of us who have only loved someone from a distance this film warms the heart. I loved every second of it.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This DVD is NOT the Original Theatrical Release of the Film, July 5, 2008
By 
A reader (Austin, Texas) - See all my reviews
I loved "Fried Green Tomatoes" at the theater and the old VHS video version (which is the only version on which you can see the original theatrical release), but unfortunately, both DVD versions insert extra scenes which ruin some of the seemless transitions between flashbacks and present-time which were the hallmark of "Fried Green Tomatoes". The extra scenes aren't even particularly good, and this DVD provides no original version without them. This criticism is true for both the Widescreen Collector's Edition and the Anniversary Edition. I'm deeply disappointed, and hoping Universal will one day release the original theatrical version of the film on DVD. What a shame it would be for the theatrical version of "Fried Green Tomatoes" to one day disappear.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Old Friend of a Movie, November 3, 2006
By 
There are films that linger in memory for the warmth they exude and the impression they leave. So it is with the now 15 year old film FRIED GREEN TOMATOES based on the novel 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe' by Fannie Flagg and arranged for the screen by that author. This is a film that explores racism, feminism, respect for the elderly, women's rights, and so very much more in a manner that is infectious to watch repeatedly and defies forgetting.

Told on two levels, the film is narrated by the elderly Ninny Threadgoode (a luminous Jessica Tandy) who idles away her hours in her nursing home with stories about her childhood she shares with the sad, obese, emotionally fragile Evelyn (Kathy Bates) whose life of misery is slowly corrected by Ninny's tales of how two women in the past overcame impossible odds. The story she tells dates back to Alabama in the 1930s when a young upstart Idgie Threadgoode (Mary Stuart Masterson) is calmed by a frightened but solid Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker) and how their partnering results in a series of events that involve murder, racism, and some very strange events.

The cast is superb, the script is delicious (!), and Jon Avnet directs with aplomb not only the fresh talent mentioned above, but also such fine actors as Cicely Tyson, Chris O'Donnell, Stan Shaw, Lois Smith and a large cast of supporting actors. The re-creation of the Old South is palpably well focused as is the hilarious and touching stance from the contemporary standpoint of the nursing home and house of the chameleon Evelyn. It is a choice bit of filmmaking and one that deserves a place in every film lover's library. Grady Harp, November 06
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immensely entertaining in many diverse ways., April 19, 2001
By 
D. Litton (Wilmington, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Get out the tissues and get ready for laughs and tears as Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy dish out the humor and the sadness that makes "Fried Green Tomatoes" such a popular hit among all types of people. The movie is a stunning vignette of life in a time gone by, regailed by an witty old lady to an aging woman who feels her femininity slipping through her fingers. The movie proves that the simplest elements of any friendship are those that are strong enough to survive any ordeal, and it tells this in such a way that one cannot help but enjoy it. For me, the movie strikes such a deep chord within my heart that it kept me captivated throughout: its powerful performances and emotional story is depressing and funny, but proves to be uplifting and joyful.
The story centers around the unlikely friendship between octegenarian Ninny Threadgood, who resides at a nursing home that the menopausal Evelyn Couch happens to be visiting one day. The two meet, and Ninny begins to tell her the story of a young, rebellious girl named Igdy Threadgood, who is devastated by the death of her brother Buddy and alienates herself from her family and few friends. Captivated by the conversation, Evelyn cannot help but return for more of the story, and thus begins a close friendship between the two.
Ninny's story continues into a mesmerizing tale of emotional strength and courage of two women who refused to allow anything stand in their way. Idgy soon makes her way back into her family's life, with the help of Buddy's sweetheart, Ruth Jamison. Ruth is good-natured and proper, but soon learns the ways of fun and giddiness from Idgy's rambunctious tactics. Their frienship soon begins to flounder when Ruth's marriage separates them, but upon learning that Ruth is being beaten by her husband, she comes to the rescue in a heartbeat. Upon the opening of a restaurant, their relationship grows stronger, ultimately proving that it can survive anything.
And there are even more hardships in store for them, ones that cannot be disclosed for fear of giving too much of the suspenseful and sometimes hilarious ending away. There is a mystery involving the characters of the past, one that brings us into its arms and holds tight until the final resolution.
Crossed with Ninny's story is the present-day life of Evelyn, whose menopausal outbursts provide some of the funniest film moments to date. Her marriage is all but fulfilling, as displayed in her attempts to get her husband "in the mood." Attending classes in order to try and rediscover her femininity only succeeds in making her look and feel more foolish. And her sweet nature will not allow her to stand up for herself in any way, shape or form. This is where Ninny's story has such an uplifting impact on her: through the stories of Ruth and Idgy, Evelyn is able to turn her life into the one she has always wanted, with hilarious results.
Ninny's story is universal in its themes, but is set in the 1930's in the fictional Southern town of Whistle Stop, which is decribed by Ninny as "a little knock-about place." The movie doesn't just bring that time and place to life, but instead reincarnates it through vivid use of authentic set designs and costumes. Everything about this film oozes of this period in time, which is essential to a movie whose setting revolves around it. I was more than convinced by it, which allowed me to pay attention to the more important aspects the movie serves up.
Its many themes are gloriously portrayed through the two friendships, in different ways and mannerisms. Ruth and Idgy have such a strong bond, and they were able to sell me on that friendship, which is what wins the movie over for me. Their willingness to do anything for one another, and I do mean anything, inspires a very warm feeling of devotion and emotional ties. The friendship between Evelyn and Ninny is so special because of the circumstances under which they meet as well as the many ways in which Ninny inspires Evelyn to take charge of her life. Like Idgy and Ruth, they are there for one another when the going gets tough, which strengthens their bond and keeps their friendship intriguing to watch unfold.
The movie is full of so many elements: laughter, heartwarming emotion, depression, and tears. The laughter comes from the mischievous machinations of Ruth and Idgy, as well as from Evelyn's reawakening. The emotion comes from watching the devotion of these friends, and the lengths they go to for one another. And the tears... they are not so much tears of sadness as they are tears of joy for the message of friendship and togetherness that the movie shouts out. This story speaks to us on so many different levels, and it reaches all of these levels with peak intensity and success.
The defining work in this film comes from the incredibly strong performances of the four actresses who bring their characters to life with a brilliant deluge of emotion. Jessica Tandy portrays Ninny with a charm and spry wit that makes her character loveable and realistic. Kathy Bates is a knock-out as Evelyn, and her incredible performance as a woman on the brink of losing her mind and then finding her true happiness is impeccable and delightful. Both Tandy and Bates garnered Academy Awards for their work in this film. Mary Stuart Masterson is the tomboyish Idgy, bringing out all of her character's traits and characteristics meticulously and, it appears, with incredible ease. Mary Louise Parker is convincing as the well-rounded Ruth, retaining her proper ways yet never allowing them to interfere with their friendship.
I was highly entertained in many different ways by "Fried Green Tomatoes." The performances were solid and convincing. The characters were intriguing and genuine, emotional and moving. The story speaks out in many ways about the ties of friendship and love, while harnessing all of its themes and messages together without falling short on delivering them. The film proves itself to be a worthy human drama with a solid backbone.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a movie worth owning!, September 5, 1999
By A Customer
I just love movies where you get to hear the characters tell stories. Especially, hearing Ninny Threadgoode tell one! Jessica Tandy will bring warmth to your heart and laughter to your soul, as she carries you (and Kathy Bates) away with her delightful storytelling. Idgy Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison portray the naughty and good sides of people living back in the 30s. You can't help but love Idgie's spunky/dogmatic character, while holding a protective/motherly love for the gentle, sweet Ruth. These two have the time of their lives together and show true devotion in friendship. Be enveloped into the scenes as Ninny tells them, keep those tissues at hand and have your own copy, because you won't watch it only once!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Southern Storytelling on the Screen, July 5, 2004
By 
EquesNiger (Koeln, Germany) - See all my reviews
I'm always surprised how badly great storytelling makes it to the screen. Particularly, great Southern stories, which tend to make it to the big screen replete with caricatures and stereotypes. I recall, with particular sadness, the movie adaptation of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. While this adaptation to the screen of Flagg's tremendously moving novel does have its share of simple, stereotypical southern "archetypes", these are largely drawn from Flagg's book, and are largely essential to the story. It is, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable movies I have ever seen and, ten years after first seeing it, it still brings raucous laughter and tears to my eyes. It's the classic "story within the story", and begins with the introduction of a tenacious elderly widow to a repressed younger southern housewife in a nursing home in rural Alabama. What starts off to the housewife as polite and indulgent small talk of past acquaintances with a likely senile elderly woman turns rapidly into an engrossing story with what must be the best "hook line" in storytelling ("Why anybody would have thought she killed that man is beyond me!"). This story then becomes a parable which the housewife uses to change her life for the better.
While certainly a moral parable of the greater value systems of past times, and of loyalty and courage in the face of bigotry and oppression, the story never loses its infectious humor, despite some genuinely tragic events. The lesbian theme of the book is only mildly hinted at, and one would almost overlook it were one not to deliberately search for it. Some of the more brutal aspects of the book are retained, with the rampant racism and wife-abuse still harrowingly reflected, if toned down. Consequently, younger viewers may best appreciate the film in the company of an adult. Regardless, this is one of the best "feeling good" movies I have ever seen, and being a Southerner from an area very near that depicted in the book, makes me pine for the South in profound ways. It's a film about empowerment and, more importantly, the empowerment one gains through friends, and through standing up for one's friends, and through an unshakable belief in self-respect.
No little credit for the success of the film goes to the incredibly strong performances of Masterson as the tom-boyish Idgie Threadgood, and Marie Louise-Parker as Ruth Jamison, along with the underrated performance of Stan Shaw, one of TV's great character actors, as Big George. However, the film's strongest performances come from three grande dames of the screen (and stage): Cicely Tyson, as Sissy, Jessica Tandy, as Ninny Threadgood, and Kathy Bates, as Evelyn Couch. While Tandy and Bates have received their due, Tyson's performance, as always, is often overlooked.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than wildest dreams, June 18, 2000
By 
slkx (Perth, Australia) - See all my reviews
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Collectors' editions can be a bit of a scam, a few tacky bells and whistles to make you think you're getting something cool. But Fried Green Tomatoes' collectors' edition was beyond my wildest dreams. Don't even think of buying the standard version if you can get this one. The "making of it" is a full-length documentary in its own right, and dispenses star interviews intermingled with unusual gossip and tidbits for fans... like why did Mary Stuart Masterton *really* do her own bee stunt! (The stunt double panicked and refused.)
The director's comments option was awesome - as is the case with any film where the project is the director's baby and a labor of love for years (as FGT was for Jon Avnet). The restored scenes shown were fascinating - such as Idgy mooning adoringly over Ruth while Ruth's teaching; and Grady pointing out to Idgy he doesn't wear size 14 boots and was certainly *not* a member of the KKK. For the most part (with two exceptions) I was very sad the removed scenes never made the final cut on original release.
The only quibble is the lovely little picture booklet the DVD comes with is at odds with some facts contained in the movie documentary. (eg That panicked stunt double apparently didn't panic after all if you believe the booklet.) And the booklet also promises a recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes on the DVD which isn't there. Nonetheless - this version is worth absolutely every cent. Tawandas out there should settle for nothing less...
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