Flashback Flicks: ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’

Throwin’ it back to movies of the past

An unlikely friendship blossomed between a self-conscious woman and a woman who knows herself through and through — so much so that she decides to reveal her story to a total stranger, unleashing secrets she would have taken to the grave.

The story starts off in the town of Whistle Stop, Alabama in the 1920s. Idgie Threadgoode and her best friend and older brother Buddy are on a walk with his love interest, Ruth Jamison, when things take a turn for the worst.

Idgie loses her best friend, and her life would forever revolve around the day he died.

After she makes the decision to recede from formal society, Ruth comes back into her life several years later to try to straighten her out, but Idgie cannot be tamed.

Instead, Ruth learns to let loose, and she and Idgie form a strong relationship.

As the story of Idgie is being told, another relationship is forming between Ninny Threadgoode and Evelyn Couch.

Evelyn meets Ninny at a nursing home while visiting her disturbed aunt.

Despite the stray from the norm of a stranger spilling her life story to another stranger in their first meeting, Evelyn is drawn in to the epic life of Idgie and Ruth.

Ruth eventually marries Frank Bennet and moves away, but Idgie and her team would bring her back to Whistle Stop when it is discovered that Frank is abusing Ruth, even though it is known that she’s pregnant.

Back in Whistle Stop, Ruth has her baby, Buddy Jr., and together they run the Whistle Stop Cafe, home to the best barbecue around. Life carries on until the local Ku Klux Klan comes to terrorize the peaceful, little town.

The ring leader for the cult is none other than Frank Bennet, and he’s back for more than terror — he’s come back for his son.

There’s a struggle between Ruth’s closest friends and Frank when he attempts to kidnap his child. The scene ends with Frank being hit on the head and falling to the ground.

But it’s never revealed what happened to Frank that night, and the search is on and the police are looking for someone to charge for his murder.

Somehow Idgie is able to weasel her way out of the conviction and things return to normal.

Years later, Ruth falls ill, and she finds out it’s cancer. At the time, of course there is nothing to be done, and she dies a peaceful death with her best friend Idgie at her side.

After her death, the townspeople fade away and the cafe closes.

As Ninny carries on with her story, you can draw the conclusion that she is actually Idgie, but it is never outwardly spoken.

As the story comes to a close and “Ninny” comes to live with Evelyn and her husband, the identity of the unseen assailant that killed Frank is revealed.

That night Sipsey, the nanny to Ruth’s son, hit Frank with a shovel and the gang rids of Frank’s body. But how?

The secret’s in the (barbecue) sauce.

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