The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

Director: Simon Callow Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Keith Carradine, Cork Hubbert


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This first film directorial effort of actor Simon Callow is based on a novel by Carson McCullers -- which, in turn, was adapted for the stage by Edward Albee in 1964. Vanessa Redgrave plays a powerful Southern matriarch who, sequestered in her café/general store, holds her home town in the palm of her hand. Redgrave's benevolent despotry is threatened by the arrival of her hunchbacked cousin, Cork Hubbert (in the role played on stage by dwarf actor Michael Dunn), and her jailbird husband Keith Carradine. Unable to remove this threat to her authority by her usual means, Redgrave is reduced to challenging Carradine to a bare-knuckle fight! Carson McCullers' fascination with the disintegration of the Old South coupled with her preoccupation with the grotesque requires delicate handling (as witness Heart Is a Lonely Hunter). Callow works overtime keeping things controlled and tasteful; unfortunately, this results in a very mannered and stilted production, all too obviously betraying its stage origins.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/18/2005
UPC: 0037429198629
Original Release: 1991
Rating: NR
Source: Merchant Ivory
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:40:00

Special Features

New high-definition digital transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions; Audio commentary by director Somon Callow; English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Vanessa Redgrave Miss Amelia
Keith Carradine Marvin Macy
Cork Hubbert Cousin Lymon
Rod Steiger Rev. Willin
Austin Pendleton Lawyer Taylor
Beth Dixon Mrs. Mary Hale
Lanny Flaherty Merlie Ryan
Mert Hatfield Stumpy McPhail
Earl Hindman Henry Macy
Anne Pitoniak Mrs. McPhail
Trula M. Marcus Woman
Shirley Rich Actor

Technical Credits
Simon Callow Director,Screenwriter
Paul Bradley Producer
Marianna Elliott Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Hale Set Decoration/Design
Michael Hirst Screenwriter

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits/Jimmy Crack Corn [6:32]
2. Swamp Water and Moonshine [5:22]
3. Kin to Me [6:45]
4. Wild and Foolish Talk [3:44]
5. Entertaining the Townsfolk [3:23]
6. Staring Into the Dark [3:23]
7. "You Know I Like Company" [4:56]
8. The Price of a Human Life [5:29]
9. Papa's Acorn [4:28]
10. All of Us Are Sinners [5:01]
11. Holy Matrimony [5:01]
12. "I Ain't Finished With You" [5:24]
13. The Lover and the Beloved [2:43]
14. Serving Marvin Macy [5:25]
15. The Buzzards Are Circling [7:08]
16. Shake Hands and Come Out Fighting [10:01]
17. Wanton Destruction [8:11]
18. End Credits [4:37]

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