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The Spitfire Grill (1996)

Alison Elliott , Ellen Burstyn , Lee David Zlotoff  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alison Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, Marcia Gay Harden, Will Patton, Kieran Mulroney
  • Directors: Lee David Zlotoff
  • Writers: Lee David Zlotoff
  • Producers: Deborah Stitt, Edward E. Vaughan, Forrest Murray, Linda H. Miller, Marci Liroff
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 1999
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000034DDR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,099 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Spitfire Grill" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

SPITFIRE GRILL - DVD Movie

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Heartbreaking Look at Pain June 13, 2005
Format:DVD
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.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Movie Is A Hidden Gem - Superb Storytelling! May 25, 2005
By Tony
Format:DVD
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This movie depicts the reality of the how cold, hard and unfair life can be - yet gives us hope as well.
I was a little nervous near the latter part of the movie that it was going to have a "Hollywood goofy ending" but a very surprising plot twist left me stunned.
This is a superb story superbly told. This movie is what I would define what an excellent film should be. Film schools should require students to study and consider the methodology of this production.
Here is proof a gazillion dollars and hi-tech hocus pocus effects are not needed to hit a home run. In fact I'd say this movie is more like a grand slam!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story about the power of hope and compassion. September 3, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must see" which will touch your heart! July 31, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
My husband and I just returned from a long weekend in Vermont. One of the best things which happened during this, our annual visit to this special place, was our visit to a bookstore where the owner suggested "Spitfire Grill" as a wonderful movie filmed in nearby Peacham, VT. Having visited Peacham one of my first priorities on getting home was to rent the video. After watching the film this evening I can only say that it's everything our new friend said it would be when she recommended it. Fictional Gilead, Maine, the story's location, is so typical of a small town's hesitancy to welcome a newcomer, yet Percy's presence changes this little town forever. Its citizens learn through a tragic experience to look beneath the surface appearance of a person to discover the soul within. Watching the film is truly a spiritual experience. The acting is superb, and the beauty of rural Peacham, Vermont is the perfect setting for such a touching story. While I rented the film watching it once is truly not enough. I'm definitely purchasing this one! A wonderful story to watch over and over again and to share with your family and friends.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet, satisfying movie July 16, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Spitfire Grill is a very well written and acted tear-jerker. A young girl, just released from prison, decides to settle down in the quiet New England village of Gillead. The residents initially are downright unfriendly to her, and their transformation is predictable, but achieved in an unpredictable and pleasing way. The Spitfire Grill is like that: certain outcomes are required in this kind of movie, but the way the story gets to them is surprising and satisfying.

A great cast of characters (and actors) surround Alison Elliott as the young ex-con Percy. But Elliott is the key: she is very, very good in this movie, and her character is one you'll remember for quite a while.

I don't in general care for tear-jerker movies like the Spitfire Grill, but the tragedies and joys presented here are believable and not overdone. I enjoyed the immersion in Gillead and its people, and was both saddened and uplifted (without being manipulated) by this fine movie. Highly recommended.
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