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Chosen Child
IC ^ | July 3, 2010 | Marjorie Campbell

Posted on 07/03/2010 2:25:15 PM PDT by NYer

My mother did not, to my knowledge, abort any of her children. I do, however, distinctly recall a miscarriage she suffered when I was twelve years old, which caused her great emotional and physical pain. I understood, from my adolescent perspective, that what was lost was somehow precious to her. As another of her children, I felt deeply valued by her grief: Loss of an unborn child, I observed, was a sad and mournful event imbued with a full and unconditioned love.
 
Not so today, we must realize. As I prayed with 40 Days for Life in front of a San Francisco abortion clinic, a young woman positioned herself aggressively in front of me and said, "Don't you want to talk to me?" I looked up from my rosary, met her belligerent gaze, and said, "Frankly, no. I don't."
 
But she refused to leave, and I was trapped listening to a monologue about her mother: her mother's abortion, and her mother's opinions about abortion, and her mother's right to choose whether to birth or abort any pregnancy. Her angry, righteous defense of her mother's behavior and opinion was true torture for me; mercy and compassion were not quick to come in the absence of reason and dialogue. But I did learn something I had little appreciated: I learned that loss of an unborn child is no longer communicated as a sad or mournful event, and that the chosen children -- those that a mother chooses to bear -- struggle to reconcile their existence with the elimination of unwanted siblings.
 
A choice to abort a child is never the quick-fix, isolated, personal decision radical feminists and the lucrative abortion industry assert. It affects the pregnant woman, the father, and often the parents of the pregnant woman. It kills the nascent life. But a decision to abort an unwanted child drops the proverbial pebble into a still pond that ripples with effect to the shores of death. One brief, allegedly personal decision by a mother to unburden herself by killing an inconvenient child in utero will resonate throughout life. (We Catholics, of course, believe it resonates beyond just mortal life, a subject for another day.) Sadly, prevailing manners of political correctness stifle discussion and meaningful assessment of this perfectly predictable consequence of violence in the womb.
 
The regret many women suffer for the rest of their lives after an abortion has become so commonplace that it's nothing short of delusion that allows radical feminists to continue denying the phenomenon. That defenders of abortion attribute what regret exists to the induction of guilt by religious opposition is a purposefully unfounded, manipulative refusal to respect experiences that challenge the abortion mythology.
 
Consider the curious case of Ellen Burstyn -- neither a religious woman nor a pro-life advocate. The well-known 77-year-old actress (The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore) shocked the secular world when she labeled her 18-year-old decision to abort "wrong, young, and dumb." That choice, she said, was "the lowest moment in her life." Understandably curious how a decision made more than 55 years ago could still deeply trouble Burstyn, an antsy male interviewer then asked, "Do you ever get over that?"
 
"No," Burstyn flatly replied, elegantly explaining that the choice to abort has "ramifications for the rest of our lives": It becomes a "dark thread" in our tapestry.  Burstyn's clear, precise statement is the sort of breach of PC etiquette that renews pro-abortion feminists' commitment to radical denial of reality.
 
 
The "choice" rhetoric so effectively manipulated by the abortion industry has created a hauntingly painful breach between mothers and children, hinted at by my agitated sidewalk companion and similarly ignored by abortion advocates. Another example gives voice to the fear that surely squeezed the heart of that young woman on the sidewalk.
 
I went with a friend to what should have been a lovely lunch out to "catch up." Partway through our meal, after much talk about our female friends working professional jobs, my companion blurted out, "If I had only aborted my eldest, I could have stayed in school and had a profession, too."
 
Shocked into sudden silence, I finally managed, "Do you really think that? Do you regret not having an abortion?"
 
My question provoked a lengthy, emotional rationale for why her life would have been better had she only had the presence of mind to abort her eldest -- a son, now happily married and father to my friend's dear little grandchildren. I listened in grotesque wonder, imagining how her son -- the only of her five children she apparently regretted -- absorbed her remorse for not having aborted him. More, I wondered: How does this young man deal with his mother's characterization of his life as an excuse and disappointment in place of the accomplishments she'd rather have attained?
 
Reasonably, this grown child might fear that his own shortcomings, needs, and development provoked, at least in some measure, my friend's regret. Voicing regret for not having aborted, is, after all, simply an expression of having made the wrong choice, as assessed with the benefit of subsequent consequences. For the mother who regrets a choice for life, those subsequent consequences are none other than the child himself.
 
In this way, being a "chosen child" has taken on a new meaning in the post-Roe v. Wade paradigm, a cultural construct based on the delusion that intentional termination of an unborn child is a private, personal matter and fueled by a commercial industry anxious to cash in on a wide range of abortion services and products. "Chosen" -- a term once richly imbued by Judeo-Christian history as that brand of unconditional love by God for each of His children (1 Jn 4:7, 16) -- has flattened and darkened to signify those children a mother opts to bear rather than abort.
 
Gone is the notion of a child being loved just because he or she has been conceived, without expectation or condition. In its stead, the "chosen" child lives aware of his own mother's reasons for having him, aware that only the mother's sentiments differentiate the living child from the terminated child, aware that his own being might cause such burden or disappointment that his mother -- like my friend -- regrets his very existence.
 
The impact of this redefinition of "chosen" -- from a deeply religious term that conveyed unconditioned love to one replete with expectations, demands, and potential regret -- must concern New Feminists. The realities lived by my angry sidewalk interlocutor, the mother who regrets not aborting one of her grown children, and the children haunted by terminated unborn siblings they will never know will be denied, ridiculed, shamed, and lied about by the pro-abortion interests. The pro-choice interests have deeply invested in a delusion that abortion has, at worst, temporal, limited consequences -- and they will undoubtedly refuse to consider even sound science that could challenge that investment.
 
The work of understanding and publicizing the impact of abortion belongs uniquely to New Feminists, because it is precisely this sort of insipid, ignored cultural shift that has led and will continue leading to "a gradual loss of sensitivity for man, that is, for what is essentially human," as Pope John Paul II so clearly foresaw (Mulieris Dignitatem, 30). As even many non-religious women have recognized, women must "refuse to choose" (Feminists for Life), not only in deference to their own feminine design, but, as importantly, in concern for the whole of humanity to "ensure sensitivity for human beings in every circumstance: because they are human! -- and because 'the greatest of these is love' [cf. 1 Cor 13:13]." Women must not be robbed of their authentic femininity -- which, after all, concerns even the chosen children.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: abortion; hollywood; moralabsolutes; prolife

Marjorie Campbell is an attorney and speaker on social issues from a Catholic perspective. She lives in San Francisco with her family, blogs at
www.dealwhudson.typepad.com, and writes a regular column, "On the Way to the Kingdom," at
1 posted on 07/03/2010 2:25:17 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...
Consider the curious case of Ellen Burstyn -- neither a religious woman nor a pro-life advocate. The well-known 77-year-old actress (The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore) shocked the secular world when she labeled her 18-year-old decision to abort "wrong, young, and dumb." That choice, she said, was "the lowest moment in her life." Understandably curious how a decision made more than 55 years ago could still deeply trouble Burstyn, an antsy male interviewer then asked, "Do you ever get over that?"

Academy Award winning actress Ellen Burstyn Says Abortion was the Worst Thing in Her Life

Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list

 

2 posted on 07/03/2010 2:27:03 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: NYer

Excellent posting, thank you. One issue in the “feminist” mentality for abortion-on-demand that demands women to exert control over their body, etc. for the “betterment and equality” of all women; it always perplexed me that 50% of the children being aborted are female, so where’s the “strength of unit amongst the sisters”, so to speak? The hatred of men by some of them I can understand, but to murder your comrades in arms?


3 posted on 07/03/2010 2:33:38 PM PDT by john drake (Roman military maxim; "oderint dum metuant," i.e., "let them hate, as long as they fear.")
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To: john drake

Abortion, like suicide, is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

If we don’t honor life we are less than a loving, caring, compassionate person no matter the rhetoric from the left.

That so many ignored Obama’s stance on not providing medical care for a baby born alive following an attempted abortion ‘because that’s not what the mother wanted’ is the most horrifying aspect of this man’s character. Or is there no soul in him?

I fear for him and I fear for his daughters. To despise unborn life so much...........

There really are no words.


4 posted on 07/03/2010 2:43:32 PM PDT by Carley (For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: All
But I did learn something I had little appreciated: I learned that loss of an unborn child is no longer communicated as a sad or mournful event, and that the chosen children -- those that a mother chooses to bear -- struggle to reconcile their existence with the elimination of unwanted siblings.

Are your parents Pro-Choice? I guess you got lucky. Is your spouse? Is your doctor?

5 posted on 07/03/2010 2:55:09 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: john drake
it always perplexed me that 50% of the children being aborted are female

Do you have a source for this statistic? It is common practice in countries like China and India, to favor the birth of boys over those of girls. This has been exacerbated in China with the one child policy. After decades of the 'one child policy', the Chinese now recognize that giving birth to large numbers of boys necessitates the birth of girls, without whom, there is not future.

6 posted on 07/03/2010 3:01:09 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: NYer

But I lost a little sister to SIDS when she was a week old.

I know it devastated my Mom and Dad..but I have carried it for years too.

The best friend that I didn’t have, the sister to share being a teenager with, to do all the things that sisters do.

Even as an adult, I’ve wondered about how things would have been different if she had lived.


7 posted on 07/03/2010 3:15:51 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (Liberals are educated above their level of intelligence.. Thanks Sr. Angelica)
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To: Carley; john drake; wagglebee
Abortion, like suicide, is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Bears repeating!

That so many ignored Obama’s stance on not providing medical care for a baby born alive following an attempted abortion ‘because that’s not what the mother wanted’ is the most horrifying aspect of this man’s character. Or is there no soul in him?

That recalls the recent news story about the late term abortion of a baby boy in Italy.

A baby boy abandoned by doctors to die after a botched abortion was found alive nearly a day later. The 22-week infant died one day later in intensive care at a hospital in the mother's home town of Rossano in southern Italy. The mother, pregnant for the first time, had opted for an abortion after prenatal scans suggested that her baby was disabled. However, the infant survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabro hospital, and was left by doctors to die.

He was discovered alive the following day – some 20 hours after the operation – by Father Antonio Martello, the hospital chaplain, who had gone to pray beside his body.

He found that the baby, wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached, was moving and breathing.

The priest raised the alarm and doctors immediately arranged for the infant to be taken to a specialist neo-natal unit at the neighbouring Cosenza hospital, where he died on Monday morning.
Full Text

That story bore a hole in my heart and left me in tears. Since then, I have been praying for the mother, daily. She will have to live with this decision, that resulted in a baby born alive, abandoned under a sheet with no food or water, for the rest of her life.

I have not been able to shake the image of this abortion from my mind. This child came into the world, unloved, unwanted and abandoned to live for nearly one day - alone - under a sheet. My one consolation is knowing that a priest came to offer prayers on behalf of the child and its mother.

8 posted on 07/03/2010 3:18:32 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: NYer

Why did you post this in News/Activism? Dishonest.


9 posted on 07/03/2010 3:19:42 PM PDT by Misterioso
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To: TASMANIANRED
Even as an adult, I’ve wondered about how things would have been different if she had lived.

If only ....

Thank you for sharing these emotions. I have siblings I have never met so I can appreciate what you are feeling.

10 posted on 07/03/2010 3:25:30 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: NYer

I’m assuming in the United States, not other non-western countries where females are considered less desirable.


11 posted on 07/03/2010 3:26:42 PM PDT by john drake (Roman military maxim; "oderint dum metuant," i.e., "let them hate, as long as they fear.")
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To: Misterioso

There is nothing dishonest about this thread. It is reality.


12 posted on 07/03/2010 3:27:58 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: NYer
Worshipers of Moloch, whether they know it or not, are going to experience the same fate as their human sacrifices.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

13 posted on 07/03/2010 3:45:48 PM PDT by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
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To: NYer

I’ve seen a work environment in which many educated, professional women have a family of two (one boy, one girl) and marvel at how so many of these women managed to be able to choose both the number and gender of their children.

It’s gotten to the point that when I see a family that breaks that pattern (only one child, two children of the same gender, three or more children) I tend to think of those children as “natural” and wanted, rather than “planned.”


14 posted on 07/03/2010 3:46:21 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: NYer; 185JHP; 230FMJ; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; An American In Dairyland; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


15 posted on 07/03/2010 3:51:23 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: NYer
What an article.

I have always liked Burstyn. God bless her for speaking out.

16 posted on 07/03/2010 3:58:34 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Misterioso

Why do you say that?


17 posted on 07/03/2010 4:00:15 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: NYer

I did not know that story about Ellen Burstyn. As I remember, she was one of the stars of Spitfire Grill, a movie (14-15-years ago) about a young woman (not Burstyn), ex convict, who works for Burstyn after she suffers an accident.

The young ex-prisoner is haunted about an abortion that was forced on her; and she, in turn, murdered the man who forced her to undergo the abortion. It’s a charming movie until the end when the young woman (who has done much good in this little town) commits suicide and all this back story tumbles out. The ending is a surprise and a shock and is abrupt.

I wonder if Burstyn read the whole script before she took the role and how she felt about making that movie. I wonder if it colored her thinking on life issues.


18 posted on 07/03/2010 4:15:35 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Southeast Wisconsin)
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To: NYer

What an excellent article ...it touched my heart ...

The right to life movement has been able to prevent the ‘normalization ‘ of abortion as morally neutral as has happened in Europe..

My thanks and prayers for the warriors for life


19 posted on 07/03/2010 5:57:11 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: NYer

Our first baby would have been a honeymoon conception. Only, I found out when I was 12 weeks along that I was carrying a dead 9 week old embryo. I hated that everyone, except my dad (family) said to “get move on” or “it’s for the best”, since my husband had lost his job staying home to take care of me when I had been having strange pains. The only good thing is afterward we tried for another baby. He, my oldest, was conceived a month before the one I miscarried would have been due. Most people tease us about having five children. Many don’t realize we really had six.


21 posted on 07/03/2010 6:09:25 PM PDT by HungarianGypsy
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To: NYer

You really can long and ache for someone you never knew.


22 posted on 07/03/2010 6:11:20 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (Liberals are educated above their level of intelligence.. Thanks Sr. Angelica)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
until the end when the young woman (who has done much good in this little town) commits suicide

IIRC, she didn't commit suicide, her death was accidental, and it was tied up with the story of the brother of character Ellen Burstyn played. It was an outstanding movie!

23 posted on 07/03/2010 10:19:23 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: NYer
"Chosen" -- a term once richly imbued by Judeo-Christian history as that brand of unconditional love by God for each of His children (1 Jn 4:7, 16) -- has flattened and darkened to signify those children a mother opts to bear rather than abort.
24 posted on 07/04/2010 3:33:13 AM PDT by Albion Wilde (" 'Bush did it' is not a foreign policy." -- Victor Davis Hanson)
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To: HungarianGypsy
Most people tease us about having five children. Many don’t realize we really had six.

The loss of a child is a pain one carries throughout life. Thank you for sharing your story on this thread.

25 posted on 07/04/2010 4:17:05 AM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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To: wagglebee; NYer

Thanks for the ping wagglebee

>> Her angry, righteous defense of her mother’s behavior and opinion was true torture for me...

Some scientists have recently concluded the nascent human doesn’t experience pain in the early stages of life. There are so many reasons why this “scientific opinion” is irrelevant including the one I quoted above.

My prayers for those on the frontline fighting against the horrors of abortion.


26 posted on 07/04/2010 6:48:28 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been redistributed. Here's your Change.)
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To: SuziQ

It was an outstanding movie, but I got the impression her death was suicide. She walked, or fell, into the river and drowned after months of agonizing over her crime (murder). And it was Burstyn’s estranged son she’d been helping. (Estranged because he was suffering from PTSD after service in VN.)

Anyway I remember going home crying over the ending because I thought it was so unfair.

But, I saw it a long time ago, and I could very easily have gotten details mixed up. It was a little fuzzy in the story in the first place, as I remember.


27 posted on 07/04/2010 10:05:41 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Southeast Wisconsin)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I thought she died trying to get to where the brother was hiding out in the woods, and possibly get the money that he had inadvertently taken. The money was in the bags out behind the house, and his sister, the cafe owner usually left food for him there, in bags. The mean brother in law of the cafe owner was accusing the girl of having stolen from the cafe owner, assuming that everyone else would go along with him, and turn on her.


28 posted on 07/04/2010 3:12:58 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: SuziQ

I don’t remember that at all. I do remember that she was trying to get Burstyn’s son to come in from the woods. Brustyn was the vet’s MOTHER, not his sister. She was of the WWII generation because the cafe was named by her late husband. As I said, it’s been nearly 15 years since I saw it.


29 posted on 07/04/2010 4:02:01 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Southeast Wisconsin)
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To: SuziQ
OK. Your differening memory of the film prompted me to look it up on line. This is the best synopsis that I could find, although Wikipedia is not always the best source. However,I see no reason that they would have to insert a political agenda into this.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Spitfire Grill

The Spitfire Grill is a 1996 American motion picture that tells a story of a woman who was just released from prison and goes to work in a small-town café known as The Spitfire Grill. A central theme is redemption.

The film stars Alison Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, Marcia Gay Harden, Will Patton, Kieran Mulroney, Gailard Sartain. It was written and directed by Lee David Zlotoff. The running time is 111 minutes. This film won the Audience award at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, and several distributors entered a bidding war in response to the movie's positive buzz. When the movie was finally released, audience and critical response wasn't as positive as in Sundance.

Plot

The story centers on a young woman named Percy (Alison Elliott) who served prison time. Upon her release, she arrives in a small town in Maine with hopes of beginning a new life. She works as a waitress in the Spitfire Grill, owned by Hannah (Ellen Burstyn), whose gruff exterior conceals a kind heart and precious little tolerance for the grill's regular customers, who cast their suspicions on Percy's mysterious past. None are more suspicious than Nahum, Hannah's nephew, although his wife, Shelby, has a kinder curiosity.

When Hannah becomes bedridden due to a nasty fall, Percy and Shelby pitch in to save the Grill and win the approval of Hannah, who learns that she does need friends. Joe, an attractive young man in town, becomes smitten with Percy, and brings to town a scientist who thinks that the town's trees might cure cancer and arthritis. As the plot unfolds, Hannah holds a $100-per-entry essay contest to find a new owner for the grill. This creates a positive change in the town, but the plans are disrupted by Neham's suspicions and the revelation that a local hermit is really Hannah's shell-shocked Vietnam veteran son. Percy sacrifices her own life to save Hannah's son and prompts a number of characters in the town to consider their own conduct more deeply.

The film has a tremendous amount of Christian symbolism in it, mixed in with Celtic and small town, rustic charm. Percy can perhaps be seen as a Christ-like figure in the film. Overall, the film deals with powerful themes of redemption, hatred, compassion, independence, the economic problems of small towns, the plight of Vietnam War veterans and to some extent female empowerment. A "trick" of the film is that one initially expects the redemption to primarily be of Percy, but we in fact see other characters and relationships, and indeed the town itself, powerfully redeemed through the actions of Percy.

Background

The idea for the film was conceived by Roger M. Courts, long-time Director and CEO of Sacred Heart League, Inc., a Roman Catholic nonprofit fund raising and communications organization based in Walls, Mississippi. In the late 1970s, he wished to make a film --- an alternative to the ministry of print that was a hallmark of Sacred Heart League, which published and distributed millions of pieces of literature.

With the approval and support of the League's Board of Directors, Courts began searching for a screenplay that could be produced under the direction of Sacred Heart League's film production subsidiary, Gregory Productions, Inc. Courts and his colleagues read more than 200 prospective screenplays and found most of them lacking in Judeo-Christian values and good story-telling. In the early 1990s, Courts was introduced to Warren Stitt, who eventually became the Executive Producer of "The Spitfire Grill." Stitt knew of the work of Lee David Zlotoff of MacGuyver fame, and an introduction was made. Courts agreed to field screenplay treatments from Zlotoff, and in late 1994 the story of the film was written by Zlotoff alone.

With private financing from Sacred Heart League, the film was shot in Peacham, Vermont in 35 days in April-May, 1995. After editing the film, it was submitted to the Sundance Film Festival in the feature film competition, and was accepted for screening at the 1996 festival in Park City, Utah. Prior to screening at Sundance, Courts engaged composer James Horner to compose the musical score for the film.

With the three female stars in attendance at Sundance, Courts and his team enjoyed the support of an enthusiastic crowd during the festival screenings. During one sold-out festival screening, a representative of Castle Rock Entertainment viewed the film and contacted her superiors in Los Angeles. A second print of the film was sent by courier to the Castle Rock headquarters for screening by its executives, who promptly offered $10 million for the film's rights, the largest sum ever paid outright for an independent feature film.

On the heels of being sold to Castle Rock Entertainment, the film went on to win the Audience Award at Sundance. The film was then distributed world-wide with only a modest return and lukewarm critical reaction.

Profits from the sale of the film were used to construct a kindergarten through eighth grade school for 450 children in Southaven, Mississippi, located 10 miles from the Sacred Heart League headquarters in Walls. The school's cafeteria is named "The Spitfire Grill."

In 2001, a musical adaptation of the film with a brighter ending, written by Fred Alley and James Valcq premiered at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ, directed by David Saint and then moved to Playwrights Horizons Theater in New York.

As I remember now, a number of townspeople are chasing her to find the hermit son, and she leads them away from him and falls into the river and drowns. Suicide? Accident? The plot is not clear, but the son comes in, is reunited with his mother, and attends her funeral which the town gives her.
30 posted on 07/04/2010 4:33:10 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic (Southeast Wisconsin)
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To: NYer
Pinged from Terri Dailies


31 posted on 07/05/2010 9:48:49 AM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: john drake
" but to murder your comrades in arms?"

It has never been about women: it has always been about ME. The present-day feminism is just an offshoot of narcissism that permeates the society.

32 posted on 07/05/2010 3:22:28 PM PDT by TopQuark
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