Info about Fried Green Tomatoes, SVP.

Ah - my first Cafe Society thread. Hey - newbies in the Pit feel compelled to announce this, why shouldn’t I?

Now then. The 1991 movie Fried Green Tomatoes is narrated by a character played by Jessica Tandy, who’s name I’m at a loss for (although I’m sure she was called something.)

At the end of the movie, Jessica Tandy wanders off into a different room, wearing rumpled down socks, ala Idgie, suggesting that they are, in fact, the same character.

We had quite a debate about this in a recent literature class that I took - so, anyone have an opinion? Are Jessica Tandy and Mary Stewart Masterson the same character only 50 years apart, or are they completely different?

Interestingly, while Jessica Tandy narrates as though she was there for all the action, you certainly never see her youthful character.

IMHO, they are the same person. At least, that’s what I hope.

Did you blubber like a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaby when you saw the movie?

No, no, no.

Jessica Tandy plays Ninny (Virginia) Threadgoode. She was married to Cleo, one of Idgie’s brothers. They had a mentally retarded son, Albert, who died as a young man. This is all clearly stated in both the book and the movie. Why people insist on thinking that Ninny is Idgie is beyond me. Watch the movie again, and pay close attention.

As for her little wink, as if she’s hinting at something, she is: that Idgie is still alive (remember, she’s the youngest of the family, so is probably younger than Ninny), and still around.

Slight spoiler:

In fact, in the book, she is seen selling honey (remember “the bee charmer”?) at the side of the road with her brother (I think it was Julian, the one whose car keys she stole) to some tourists. This was after Ninny was already dead in the book.

For those of you who haven’t read it, I highly recommend the book. Lots of goodies not covered in the movie.

My bad. That was me.

S’Ok, hon. I posted something really stupid as you, earlier. People will prolly beging to hate you because of it. :wink:

Scarlett is quite correct. In both the movie and the book Ninny Threadgoode is pretty explicit about being married to Idgie’s brother. In the book she also describes herself as a “big-boned girl” (which Tandy wasn’t, but that’s what you get for such a marvelous and esteemed actress.)

In the movie Ninny explains who she is at the very start of the tale, so I think most people simply forget that chunk of exposition as being irrelevent and uninteresting.

I also have a nagging suspicion that the film studio didn’t want to leave a “but what happened to Idgie???” question dangling and figured that a little ambiguity would better suit the ending as far as that was concerned. Though it could be a little misleading, it was probably the most classy choice they could come up with.

If you see the film, it will not in any way spoil the book. The film adaptation is great, but there are some differences that make the story in the book fresh and thoroughly engrossing.

The film took a few liberties to make things a little bit more concise and to whittle down the overall number of characters. Though the film was great, the book is even better (in only for the “Dot Weems” columns in between chapters that had me in stitches). It’s a very easy read and I was able to start it in the morning and finish it by mid-afternoon.

Last night I found a movie fan site that explained that the original script did have a fairly explicit “Ninny = Idgie” implication, but Fannie Flagg rewrote it. So some remnant of that remains in the version that was released, and I think that’s what misleads people. But the fact that they are two different characters is pretty clear if you watch carefully. I’ll have to review the wedding scenes – I have a vague recollection of hearing reference to Cleo and/or Ninny.

My favorite part of the book (there are so many!) has to be what happened to Earl and Vesta Adcock.

If you watch the end of the movie carefully, you’ll see something that makes it pretty clear–if the exposition and other explanations didn’t–that Ninny is not Idgie, and that Idgie is still alive.

Right - ok, my question is a bit clearer now.

One of the things that was brought up in my lit class, was the fact that the narrator (be it Idgie or Ninny) could be lying - that is, she’s Idgie, and has just said that she’s Ninny to avoid problems/complications.

However, crazy4chauncer please fill me in - I’ve watched the movie rater carefully, Many, Many times and this elusive bit of evidence has escaped me - please - do tell. :slight_smile:

Oh - and Ginger - I LOOOVED this movie - it’s one of my favorites. I was just talking about it to my beau last night saying “It’s NOT a chick flick, it’s NOT a chick flick!”

I think this is just a case of viewers wanting a happy, “feel-good,” “clever twist” Hollywood ending. As in, oh wow neato, how precious, it really is her after all. But that’s inconsistent with the message of the movie, IMHO. Remember, in the book Ninny is a little confused in her old age and has trouble remembering what year it is, or to put her dress on right-side-out. Doesn’t seem that she’d be able to carry on such subterfuge over the period of the story and NEVER goof up and give herself away, if she really were Idgie. And remember the independent-thinking square peg that Idgie was in her youth; would she really have turned into the goofy little old lady with the purple rinse, giving out advice to buy Stresstabs? I don’t think so. I like the book’s portrayal of Idgie in her old age. That seems about right; I know a few “elderly Idgies,” in fact.

Pop quiz: What’s Idgie’s real first name? A free plate of barbecue to the first person with the correct answer.

Can’t say it’s my ultimate favourite part of the book, but “Boots, the cat” ranks WAY up there. Lent the book to my housemate, and later in the day through her bedroom door you could hear peals of laughter and “Boots!”

crazy4chaucer Oo! Use the fancy new spoiler feature and tell us, tell us! I do vaguely remember something subtle, but I can’t remember what! Argh!

Was it the jar of honey sitting next to (Ruth’s?) gravestone?

I was always disappointed that the movie made that implication, but if you listen carefully enough it’s clear that they aren’t the same person.

Still, one of my favorite movies. The relationship between Ruth and Idgie is lovely, and the whole cast is wonderful.

Scarlett67: That’d be my guess.

My favorite line in the whole movie is Ninny sitting on her suitcase in front of the empty lot, saying “Somebody stole my house!”

Oh, and Scarlett67 – was her name Imogene?

If I’m right, you’re gonna have to convince me the barbecue isn’t part of the “special batch” Big George cooked up before I accept it.

Ding ding ding!!

But Sauron, that was the best batch! Here, have some more sauce . . .

(I recently copyedited a cooking textbook that had a sidebar box on movies that featured food. I had to revise the reference to FGT, as it gave away Big George’s secret ingredient!)

Man, oh, man, I had such a crush on Mary Stewart Masterson after seeing this movie. And the book is just marvelous, too, alice.

Has anyone tried any of the recipes in the back of the book? Whenever I get the chance I make fried green tomatoes [drool], but it’s my own recipe, not Fannie Flagg’s.

I don’t know how to use the nifty new spoiler feature, can someone help me out?


I just figured out how to read the fancy new spoiler feature, even though I don’t know how to use it, and you’re right.

Just put the following tags around the text that’s a spoiler (use square brackets instead of curly ones):

{spoiler} text text text {/spoiler}

Hit the quote button for any post that contains the spoiler feature for more help. There’s also a thread in About this Message Board that explains it.