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The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

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The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
Unrated
runtime:
101 minutes
performer:
Keith Carradine, Vanessa Redgrave, Cork Hubbert, Rod Steiger
director:
Simon Callow
distributor:
Columbia Tri-Star
author:
Michael Hirst
genre:
Drama

We gave it a B

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, Carson McCullers’ haunting story of thwarted, twisted, and tortuous love in a backwater hamlet will likely find a deserving audience on video. British actor-turned-director Simon Callow captures the spirit of the novella but not quite its Southern gothic authenticity.

As the eccentric, pragmatic Miss Amelia, whose years of stored-up love are thrust upon her distant cousin, the hunchbacked dwarf Lymon (Cork Hubbert), Vanessa Redgrave veers, in a runaway Southern accent, between brilliant and bungling. Keith Carradine, playing the felon husband she once rejected who returns for revenge, is only brilliant. Despite cavils, the film remains a powerful one, with just the right bite to feed a melancholy mood. B