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The Color Purple (1985)

 -  Drama  -  18 December 1985 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 51,410 users  
Reviews: 183 user | 60 critic

The life and trials of a young African American woman.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 11 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Harpo Johnson (as Willard Pugh)
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Leonard Jackson ...
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John Patton Jr. ...
Carl Anderson ...
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Storyline

This film follows the life of Celie, a young black girl growing up in the early 1900's. The first time we see Celie, she is 14 - and pregnant - by her father. We stay with her for the next 30 years of her tough life... Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's about life. It's about love. It's about us. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Moon Song  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$94,175,854 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Turner Classic Special "Spielberg on Spielberg", Steven Spielberg cites The Color Purple (1985) as his first "serious" film. And that he would have not been able to do Empire of the Sun (1987) and Schindler's List (1993) without the stepping stone that was this film. See more »

Goofs

The postmark on the envelope of the letter from Nettie is dated July 1934, however the letter inside is dated for April 18 (Easter). She opens the letter at Easter (Albert is decorating Easter eggs) so the letter did arrive in a timely manner, however the July postmark doesn't make sense. See more »

Quotes

Squeak: Hapo! Who dis woman?
Harpo: Now come now, you know who this is.
Squeak: She best'a leave you alone.
Sophia: Fine with me.
Harpo: [to Sophia] You ain't got to go nowhere. Dis here my jut-joint.
Squeak: [to Harpo] You said dis here our jut-joint!
Harpo: Listen woman can't a man dance with his wife if he wants to?
Squeak: Not if she left'm!
[to Sophia]
Squeak: And not if he my man! You just a big ol heffa. Ha Ha Ha.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ask That Guy with the Glasses: Ask That Guy #63 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Junk Bucket Blues
Written by Porter Grainger
Performed by Get Happy Band
Courtesy of CBS Records
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User Reviews

Remarkably moving story from the maestro
18 April 2000 | by (somewhere much higher than you...) – See all my reviews

This is a truly wonderful film from the guru of directing, Mr Steven Spielberg. This great director has suffered much criticism throughout his career. He was slammed by a lot of the press for 'never really growing up' and it took SCHINDLER'S LIST to quiten these critics. However almost ten years before his remarkable account of the Holocaust Spielberg directed this gem.

It is the moving tale of a young black girl born into a male-dominated world, and tells the story of her gradual loss of identity followed by her defiance in reclaiming the life she lost. This was Whoopi Goldberg's remarkable screen debut that assured her of major stardom, and it is not hard to see why. Her fear towards her husband is frighteningly real, as is her silent rebellious side that ventures outwards in the last section of the film. Danny Glover paints a horrific image of a cruel husband, and still manages to give us a valid reason why he acts the way he does, before a moving conclusion to his character's development. The part of Sofia is also expertly played by Oprah Winfrey, especially during the Christmas reunion scene when the viewer can't help but share her pain through to joy. A special treat is an appearance by Laurence Fishburne (then Larry) in a small role.

It is cinema such as this that proves Steven Spielberg's genius. You will often forget that it is him you are watching (not least by the lack of another genius, Mr John Williams), but it only adds to this director's credit that he is so versatile. If anyone passed over this film as a possible blip in Spielberg's career (as I shamefully did!) watch it now! You will not be disappointed.


47 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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