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The Spitfire Grill is a 1996 American film written and directed by Lee David Zlotoff

File:The Spitfire Grill (1996) Poster.png
and starring Alison Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, Marcia Gay Harden, Will Patton, Kieran Mulroney and Gailard Sartain. It tells a story of a woman who was just released from prison and goes to work in a small-town café known as The Spitfire Grill. The film won the Audience Award at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, prompting several distributors to enter into a bidding war in response to the positive buzz, but when the movie was finally released, audiences and critics as a whole responded less favorably than they had at Sundance.

The movie was the basis for the 2001 Off-Broadway musical of the same name by James Valcq and Fred Alley.

PlotEdit

The story centers on a young woman named Percy (Alison Elliott) who was recently released from prison. She arrives in a small town in Maine with hopes of beginning a new life. She lands a job as a waitress in the Spitfire Grill, owned by Hannah (Ellen Burstyn), whose gruff exterior conceals a kind heart and little tolerance for the grill's regular customers who are suspicious of Percy's mysterious past. None is more suspicious than Nahum, Hannah's nephew, although his wife, Shelby, has a kinder curiosity.

When Hannah is bedridden after a nasty fall, Percy and Shelby pitch in to save the Grill and win the approval of Hannah, who learns she does need friends. Joe, an attractive young man in town, becomes smitten with Percy. He is approached by a scientist who thinks that the town's trees might have medicinal benefits. As the plot unfolds, Hannah holds a $100-per-entry essay contest to find a new owner for the grill. This creates a positive change in the town, but the plans are disrupted by Nahum's suspicions about Percy and the revelation that a local hermit is Hannah's shell-shocked, Vietnam veteran son. Percy sacrifices her own life to save Hannah's son and prompts a number of the town's citizens to examine their own conduct more deeply.

Overall, the film deals with powerful themes of redemption, hatred, compassion, independence, the economic problems of small towns, the plight of Vietnam War veterans, and, to some extent female empowerment. The film somewhat misleads the audience into thinking that it will be Percy who finds redemption, but it is other characters and relationships, and indeed the town itself, that are powerfully redeemed through Percy's actions.

CastEdit

Theatrical TrailerEdit

The Spitfire Grill (1996) Official Trailer - Alison Elliott, Ellen Burstyn Movie HD-0

The Spitfire Grill (1996) Official Trailer - Alison Elliott, Ellen Burstyn Movie HD-0

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