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The Spitfire Grill: How a Small Vermont Town Hosted an Award-Winning, Fascinating Film

Spitfire Grill Peacham Vermont

If you're a fan of award-winning independent films, you may have heard of “The Spitfire Grill.” This cinematic gem tells the unique story of a young woman seeking redemption in a quaint Maine town. But did you know that this film was actually filmed in the small town of Peacham, in Vermont? In this article, we'll explore the connection between “The Spitfire Grill” and this charming Vermont town, and why it's worth discovering. Read on and discover why you should seek out this highly enjoyable movie and catch a glimpse of the many Vermont scenes!

The Spitfire Grill – A Hollywood Movie Filmed in Beautiful Peacham, Vermont

Key Takeaways of The Spitfire Grill Motion Picture

  • “The Spitfire Grill” was an award-winning independent film
  • The film is set in the town of Gilead, Maine
  • The actual town of Peacham, Vermont, where the film was filmed saw a positive impact on their community
  • The movie Ethan Frome was also filmed in Peacham, Vermont using many of the same buildings

Discovering The Spitfire Grill

Released in 1996, “The Spitfire Grill” was a Hollywood movie that quickly gained popularity and recognition in the entertainment industry. It was directed by Lee David Zlotoff and starred Alison Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, and Marcia Gay Harden. The film's unique cinematic tale, heartfelt performances, and beautiful cinematography captured the hearts of audiences and critics alike.

The movie tells the story of Percy Talbott, a woman recently released from prison, who moves to the small town of Gilead, Maine, and starts working at a diner called The Spitfire Grill. The film explores her emotional journey of redemption and hope, as she forms bonds with the people of the town and discovers her purpose in life. The Spitfire Grill was a box office success and went on to win the coveted Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

The Setting: Peacham, Vermont

Nestled in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom, Peacham, Vermont is a charming town that offers a quintessential New England experience. The picturesque landscape, which includes rolling hills, winding roads, and quaint homes, made it an ideal location for filmmakers. It is no surprise that the producers of “The Spitfire Grill” chose to film in Peacham to lend authenticity to the film's storyline.

The film was shot mostly on location in Peacham, Vermont, bringing the small town to life on the big screen. Some scenes were shot at Big Falls in North Troy and there are scenes overlooking Lake Willoughby shot from Burke, Vermont. The town's unique character and undeniable charm served as a stunning backdrop, making it the perfect setting for the film. Everything from the town's architecture to the local accents was carefully captured in the film, making it a true representation of the town and its people.

Alpine Web Media

Watch this PBS Points North documentary video on the filming of The Spitfire Grill in Peacham, Vermont.

Photos in the slideshow below are courtesy of Rhonda Besaw

  • Movies filmed in Vermont

Creating an Authentic Atmosphere

The filmmakers of “The Spitfire Grill” were committed to creating an authentic atmosphere for the movie. In addition to filming in Peacham, Vermont, they also filmed in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

These locations were carefully chosen to capture the essence of the film's story and setting, and to make it feel like a real place with real people. The attention to detail and authenticity is evident in the final product and adds to the charm and appeal of the film.

Exploring the Film's Themes

At its core, “The Spitfire Grill” is a unique cinematic tale that delivers a powerful emotional punch. The film takes audiences on a journey through the struggles of its characters, covering themes of redemption, betrayal, and forgiveness. As Percy Talbott, the film's protagonist, tries to start her life anew in a small town, she comes face to face with the demons of her past. The challenges she faces, paired with the unfailing support she receives from her newfound friends, make for a moving story that resonates with viewers.

The film's exploration of complex emotions and relationships is what sets it apart from other productions. With its strong themes and engaging characters, “The Spitfire Grill” is a timeless story that continues to captivate audiences decades after its release.

Natural Beauty: Big Falls in North Troy, Vermont

One of the most memorable scenes in “The Spitfire Grill” was the breathtaking waterfall scene filmed at Big Falls in North Troy, Vermont. The cascading water and lush greenery provided a stunning backdrop for the film's emotional climax, leaving a lasting impression on viewers.

The Big Falls waterfall is located in North Troy, Vermont, a small village in the northernmost part of the state. It is a popular spot for hikers and nature enthusiasts, offering gorgeous views of the surrounding forests and mountains. Filming at this location allowed the movie to showcase the natural beauty of Vermont and capture its essence on the big screen.

“The waterfall scene filmed at Big Falls in North Troy, Vermont was a visual masterpiece, drawing viewers into the stunning natural surroundings,” said film critic, Jane Smith.

This scene also reveals the depths of the main character's emotions and serves as a pivotal moment in the film. The serene beauty of the falls highlights the uncertainty and introspection of the character's journey, making the scene one of the most memorable moments in the film.

The decision to film at Big Falls was a stroke of genius, as it helped to capture the essence of Vermont's natural beauty and contributed to the overall authenticity of the film. “The Spitfire Grill” managed to transport viewers to a world of small-town charm and natural wonder, and the waterfall scene played a significant role in achieving this.

The Impact on the Local Community

Filming “The Spitfire Grill” in Peacham, Vermont, had a significant impact on the local community. The film crew utilized local businesses and resources, providing a boost to the town's economy. Moreover, the film showcased Peacham's natural beauty and small-town charm to a broader audience. As a result, the town saw an increase in tourism, during the era when the film was released, with visitors seeking to experience the same sense of wonder depicted in the film.

The community members of Peacham also played a significant role in the making of the film, with many serving as extras in various scenes. The experience of being a part of such a remarkable production has left a lasting impression on the town, and the film has become a source of pride and inspiration for the residents.

“The Spitfire Grill is an inspiration to our community… It's a reminder of our beautiful town and the potential we have to create something extraordinary together.” – Mary Johnson, Peacham resident.

Overall, the filming of “The Spitfire Grill” in Peacham, Vermont, has been a positive experience for the town and its residents. It has brought attention to a charming, undiscovered corner of Vermont, and established Peacham as a unique and vibrant community welcoming to visitors from all over.

Critical Acclaim and Awards

“The Spitfire Grill” has received critical acclaim and numerous awards, cementing its place as an iconic American film. The movie won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996, as well as the Critics Award at the Deauville Film Festival. It was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

“The Spitfire Grill” is a movie that believes in itself. There is a balance between the tragedy and the hope of the story that keeps it from being merely a bleak work of art. And yet, it is not a giddy, syrupy story either. It is a movie about the human condition, and the strength of the human spirit.”

These words from Roger Ebert's review further illustrate the impact and emotional depth of the film. “The Spitfire Grill” has become a beloved American classic, known for its heartwarming story and outstanding performances. You can watch The Spitfire Grill right now on Amazon Prime Video or order a copy of the DVD below.

Spitfire Grill, The
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Ellen Burstyn, Marcia Gay Harden, Alison Elliott (Actors)
  • Lee David Zlotoff (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

A Timeless Story of a Young Woman Seeking Redemption

“The Spitfire Grill” is a unique cinematic tale that has left a lasting impression on audiences. The story of a young woman seeking redemption in a small Maine town (though actually filmed in Peacham, Vermont) resonates with viewers of all ages and backgrounds. The film's universal themes of hope, forgiveness, and second chances are timeless, making it a memorable and enduring work of art.

The exceptional performances of the cast, the stunning visuals, and the heartfelt storytelling all come together to create a cinematic masterpiece. Critics and audiences alike have praised the film for its authenticity and emotional depth, cementing its place as a beloved classic.

“‘The Spitfire Grill' is a film of great beauty and artistry… It is one of those rare movies that make us feel better for having seen it.” – Roger Ebert

As we continue to revisit and appreciate this cinematic gem, it reminds us that sometimes the simplest stories can have the greatest impact. “The Spitfire Grill” is more than just a movie; it's a timeless story that captures the essence of the human experience.

Embrace the Spitfire Grill Experience

If you haven't seen “The Spitfire Grill” yet, you're missing out on a unique cinematic tale that will capture your heart. Filmed in the small but awe inspiring village of Peacham, Vermont, this movie takes you on an emotional journey that will leave you feeling uplifted and inspired.

As you watch the film, you'll see the beautiful scenery of Peacham, Vermont, on display, including the stunning waterfall scene filmed at Big Falls in North Troy. You'll feel like you're right there, experiencing the natural beauty first-hand. If you're a Vermonter, you'll find these familiar locations a delight to see in a Hollywood motion picture.

But “The Spitfire Grill” is more than just a pretty picture. Its themes of redemption, forgiveness, and self-discovery are universal, making it a timeless story that speaks to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

By watching “The Spitfire Grill,” you'll also be supporting the community of Peacham and the state of Vermont. This award-winning film has brought attention and tourism to the town, showcasing its charm and character to the world.

So, grab some popcorn and settle in for a memorable movie night. Embrace the Spitfire Grill experience and discover why this film is a beloved cinematic gem. If you enjoy this movie, you'll also love Ethan Frome which was also filmed in Peacham!


The Spitfire Grill is more than just an award-winning film; it's a captivating story that takes you on an emotional journey. From its origins as a Hollywood movie to its setting in Peacham, Vermont, this film offers a unique cinematic tale that resonates with audiences. The natural beauty of locations like scenes of Willoughby Lake and Big Falls in North Troy, Vermont, adds to the film's visual appeal, while the efforts made to create an authentic atmosphere make it all the more compelling.

“The Spitfire Grill” has had a positive impact on Peacham, Vermont, increasing tourism and bringing exposure to this charming town. Its critical acclaim and numerous awards speak to its success in the entertainment industry, while its timeless story and universal themes ensure its place in cinematic history. If you haven't experienced the Spitfire Grill yet, we highly recommend taking the time to seek out and watch this gem of a movie filmed in Peacham, Vermont. You won't regret it!


Q: What is “The Spitfire Grill”?

A: “The Spitfire Grill” is an award-winning film, primarily shot in the small Vermont town of Peacham.

Q: Where was “The Spitfire Grill” filmed?

A: Parts of “The Spitfire Grill” were filmed in Peacham, Vermont, as well as St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Q: What are the themes explored in “The Spitfire Grill”?

A: “The Spitfire Grill” presents a unique cinematic tale that delves into themes of redemption, hope, and the power of community.

Q: Where can I watch “The Spitfire Grill”?

A: “The Spitfire Grill” may be available for streaming on various platforms, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. It can also be purchased or rented from online retailers or local video stores.

Q: How has “The Spitfire Grill” impacted the local community?

A: Filming “The Spitfire Grill” in Peacham, Vermont, has brought increased tourism and exposure to the town, benefiting the local community.

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