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Film / Violet

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Violet is a 1981 short film (30 minutes) directed by Shelley Levinson.

It is an adaptation of the story "The Ugliest Pilgrim" by Doris Betts. Violet Carl (Didi Conn, who played Frenchy in Grease) boards a Trailways bus in North Carolina, bound for Oklahoma. Violet has an ugly disfiguring scar on her cheek, suffered in a freak accident. She has been watching a faith-healing TV evangelist, and Violet has become convinced that he can heal her scar.


Violet boards the bus and makes friends with two U.S. Army soldiers, Monty and Flick, who are traveling together. Monty urges her to give up her hopeless trip, but Violet takes the bus to Oklahoma.

In 1997 Betts's story was adapted into a stage musical, also called Violet.


  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Obviously, Violet does not get God to make the scar on her face disappear. But she does fall in love with Monty, who waits for her at the bus station and meets her on her way back.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Violet suffered her scar in a freak accident when, while her father was teaching her how to repair a car engine, the car's radiator exploded.
  • Facial Horror: Violet has a disfiguring scar on her right cheek.
  • Fake Faith Healer: The TV preacher, who is seen only in a blurry black-and-white television image at the beginning. When Violet makes it to his studio he isn't even there. An assistant tries to fob her off with some prayer, and she leaves in bitter disappointment.
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  • Hidden Depths: Meek, mousy Violet turns out to be an excellent poker player, who beats both Monty and Flick.
  • I Have to Iron My Dog: Violet winds up sitting on the bus next to Mrs. Harris, an older woman who will not stop yapping. Finally she picks up her stuff and goes to another seat, lamely saying "I've got to spread out to study."
  • Innocently Insensitive: Violet says she'd be happy to trade faces with somebody else. When Flick, who is black, jokes that they could go to the faith healing together, she says "I don't want no black skin, no offense intended." She is genuinely surprised when Flick is offended. She's apologetically nice to him later and he lets it go.
  • Lingerie Scene: A scene with Violet in her hotel room in a slip reveals that she is quite curvaceous.
  • Motor Mouth: Mrs. Harris, Violet's seatmate who won't shut up. Violet finally moves to a different seat.
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  • One-Word Title: Violet
  • Road Trip Plot: Violet takes the bus from Spruce Pine, North Carolina, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, with several stops along the way.
  • Sleep Cute: Monty falls asleep with his head on Violet's shoulder on the bus.