That was apparently too much of a mouthful for U.S. audiences, though, where the film's title was abbreviated to just Fried Green Tomatoes. When he first started the process of bringing Fried Green Tomatoes to the screen, executive producer and director Jon Avnet hired Carol Sobieski. She came up with the idea of doing the story as a musical.
In the film adaptation of this book, Idgie and Ninny are indeed the same person. Secondly, what did Ruth die of in Fried Green Tomatoes? After the trial life went on pretty much as it did before until Ruth was diagnosed with cancer.
When Fried Green Tomatoes came out, we were this close to LGBT representation changing forever — that change would come soon afterward. Television, beginning with The Real World in 1992, was soon to lead the way to a more inclusive future.
The book makes it clear that Ninny and Idgie are different people, as Ninny has died and Evelyn is visiting her grave when she finds the jar of honey and the note on Ruth's tombstone. In the film adaptation of this book, Idgie and Ninny are indeed the same person. Subsequently, question is, is the old lady in Fried Green Tomatoes Idgie?
In the book Ninny and Idgie are indeed separate, but making them the same person makes the story more intriguing, and confusing, for the 3rd party - the viewer of the movie. 3. Ninny says she had such a crush on him because young Idgie loved her brother so much that when he died she never got over it.
Although the movie has been criticized by gay groups for erasing the novel's implications of a sexual relationship between Idgie and Ruth, there is little in the book to be erased: the novel shows Idgie as a forthright suitor for Ruth's love, but only indirectly does it indicate that her love is not platonic.
Ninny married Idgie's older brother, Cleo. Idgie herself took off for Florida with another brother, Julian, where for decades she ran a roadside stand selling fruit and honey, and using her talents as a "bee charmer."
When first meeting Frank he asks for her name, Idgie says “Towanda to you.” She also yells it when jumping from a train with Ruth.
Diminutive of Imogen or Imogene, Celtic.
Jessica Tandy is Virginia (Ninny) Threadgoode, Idgie's sister-in-law. Idgie and Ruth lived back in the 1920's and 1930's in Whistle Stop, Alabama. Ninny did as well, and regales the two women's adventures to Evelyn Couch, who takes these stories as inspiration for her own life.
The film, which goes by the name Fried Green Tomatoes paints Idgie Threadgoode (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker) as best friends.
Buddy unfortunately died in a train accident. His younger sister the tomboy Idgie Threadgoode was badly affected by the untimely death of her brother.
10 years oldBefore Nancy Atchison auditioned for the part of the young Idgie Threadgoode in the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes,” her parents read her the novel on which it was based, Fannie Flagg's “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café.” Though she was only 10 years old at the time, Nancy immediately identified with Idgie's ...
Frank BennettShe felt she had to leave because at sixteen, Idgie couldn't understand the feelings and implications of those feelings. She felt the only answer was to return home and marry Frank Bennett. Idgie would get over her crush once Ruth was gone.
Righter of Wrongs, Queen Beyond Compare! Ninny Threadgoode : How many of them hormones you takin', honey?
Ninny Threadgoode: A heart can be broken, but it will keep beatin' just the same. Sipsey: It's all right, honey. Let her go. Let her go.
Flagg's 1987 novel is titled Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, which is what the film was called in the U.K. and some other countries. That was apparently too much of a mouthful for U.S. audiences, though, where the film's title was abbreviated to just Fried Green Tomatoes.
When he first started the process of bringing Fried Green Tomatoes to the screen, executive producer and director Jon Avnet hired Carol Sobieski. She came up with the idea of doing the story as a musical. Sadly, Avnet was not on board with the idea of Idgie and Ruth singing their way through the story.
The film was made for $11 million, which makes it low-budget, in Hollywood terms. While it wasn't an overnight smash hit, the film eventually grossed a whopping $119 million proving that Southern stories can be loved by all.
Fannie Flagg's great-aunt Bess Fortenberry started running the Irondale Café in the 1930s in the small town of Irondale, which is just outside of Birmingham, Alabama.
While Flagg's real-life inspiration came from Alabama, Hollywood chose the small town of Juliette, Georgia, to stand in for Whistle Stop. Now, visitors can drive about 20 minutes from Macon, sit at the Whistle Stop Café, and enjoy a plate of fried green tomatoes, just like Idgie and Ruth, according to the cafe's website.
After the movie came out, so many people asked for recipes that Flagg ended up writing a cookbook to accompany the film. The Original Whistle Stop Café Cookbook was published in 1993.
Remember when Idgie is momentarily covered in bees? Well, according to the town of Juliette's official website, the stunt woman that was hired for the film was too afraid to actually do the stunt. She backed out at the last minute. That left actress Mary Stuart Masterson with a tough choice—hold up the film or do the stunt herself.
Because Mary Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson had such similar names, director Jon Avnet would refer to them as "Lou" and "Stu" to keep things from getting too confusing, according to official information from the Juliette, Georgia, website.
You might not have noticed this because of his brief time onscreen, but Chris O'Donnell was the only actor not to use the traditional southern accent found in Alabama and Georgia, where the story is set.
Also according to the Juliette official website, the actual stunt woman was too afraid and backed out at the last minute, so Mary Stuart Masterson was forced to do her own stunt work with the buzzing bees.
Fannie Flagg, who wrote the original novel and was previously known for her appearances on Match Game throughout the '70s and early '80s, plays the woman leading a self-help group, who tells the women attendees: "You can get that spark back into your marriage!"
In one scene, Evelyn visits Ninny and finds her hair cropped super short and dyed a lavender hue.
On top of really serving fried green tomatoes, as well as many other southern food staples, the actual restaurant in Juliette, Georgia, was used as a set for the film, according the official website.
Jessica Tandy won an Oscar for her work in 1989's Driving Miss Daisy and Kathy Bates won for her role in 1990's Misery.
Against this bleak landscape, where I felt my best hope was not to be horrified, Fried Green Tomatoes felt like a perfect movie to me.
The story is set in two different time periods. In the present, Evelyn Couch, a depressed Alabama housewife played by Kathy Bates, becomes friends with the vibrant, eightysomething Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy).
Fried Green Tomatoes felt like the answer to a wish. I saw it four times in the theater, something I haven’t done since. My girlfriend at the time got freaked out about my love of it — so was I, frankly! I was 22, and had been out since my first year of college. I was embarking on my post-college life, which felt full of possibility.
More importantly, Flagg’s third-person omniscient narration explicitly spells out their love for each other. The scene in which Idgie goes into a swarm of bees and gets a honeycomb out for Ruth is crucial for them, and a signature scene that underscores their nascent relationship — it’s pretty great in the movie, as well as in the book.
So yes, in comparison to the book, the movie is, as Masterson once told me, “redacted.” We were talking at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, when she played the mom of a queer teenage son in an indie movie called As You Are.
I’ve watched Fried Green Tomatoes several times in the past few weeks, reread the book for the first time in 30 years, and immersed myself in what was written about them at the time. Seeing the book and the film through the lens of everything that’s come since is instructive: The world has changed, and so has representation.