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Fried Green Tomatoes - Familiarity
Probably an hour into the movie, right after the murder of Frank Bennett, Big George tells Idgie that Smokey Lonesome left town. When Smokey returns (probably a year or more later) he comes into the cafe' and everyone greets him. Sipsey, behind the counter, says "Hey Smokey." I don't think that a black woman in rural Alabama in the 1930s or 40s would call any white man by his first name, especially in front of others. She always referred to Idgie and Ruth as "Miss", and they were dear friends of hers. Near the end of the movie, when they flashed back to the murder, Sipsey says "you're a good man, Mr. Smokey" and in that scene only Idgie and Big George were present.
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Liberty on 06-04-2004
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cassarina writes:
I don't see why Sipsy wouldn't call him Smokey. Yes... a black woman calling a white man by his first name was considered inappropriate at that time, but Smokey was a homeless man. He was looked down upon for being an alcoholic, homeless man the same way Sipsy was looked down upon for being a black woman. They were kindred. No one would have made a big deal out of it. Now, if Sipsy had addressed a respected man by his first name... that would be another story.
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prideman00 writes:
I disagree. Smokey lonesome was a homeless little hobo man, I dont think he deserved the respect of being called MR. Smokey, I mean come on, even Sipsey had a house. Ruth and Iggy didnt call him MR. either......
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flash writes:
It has nothing to do with having a house and being homeless. It has to do with being black and being white in the south in the 1930s. Any black person perceived as being too familiar or "uppity" back then ran the risk of being whipped or possibly even lynched. A black woman would NEVER have referred to a white man by his first name - regardless of social standing. And why would Idgie and Ruth call Smokey "Mr"? They were all white. And the actual slipup is the fact that Sipsey DID call Smokey "Mr Smokey" in one scene (following the murder) and called him "Smokey" in another scene (in the cafe).
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