In Southern movies, food is the glue that holds families together and provides a chance for characters to learn what they share in common and discuss what drives them apart. Here are some memorable scenes.
Gone With the Wind, 1939
Before the Civil War, Scarlett O'Hara's feisty character is revealed in her hunger; early in the movie, she eats voraciously after being taunted that the man she hopes to snare will not propose to her. After the war, her hunger demonstrates her tenacity and ability to survive — starving, she eats a radish and is sickened by it. She vows then never to go hungry again.
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962
The young heroine Scout (Central Virginia's own Mary Badham) learns a valuable lesson in manners when she laughs at a poor schoolmate who pours syrup over his meal. By teaching her not to make fun of her guest, her wise father furthers the film's themes of tolerance and understanding.
Fried Green Tomatoes, 1991
Mousy Kathy Bates becomes emotionally sturdier when she hears the story of two women in the 1920s whose unconventional love and friendship gave them uncommon strength of character. Their restaurant specializes in fried green tomatoes, which highlights their uniqueness.
Keri Russell stars as a waitress who expresses her emotions best through the pies she bakes. An unhappily married pregnant woman who has an affair with her handsome obstetrician, the emotion she expresses most successfully with her pies is love.
The Help, 2011
Set during the civil rights era, this drama uses a fried-chicken recipe passed down from one generation and one race to another as an early indication that the relations between the races are softening and changing. Meanwhile, a case of interracial revenge is exacted through an unusual pie.