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The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  7 February 1986 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 55,316 users  
Reviews: 190 user | 62 critic

The life and trials of a young African American woman.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: The Color Purple (1985)

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Nominated for 11 Oscars. Another 16 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:

7 February 1986 (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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before production, Steven Spielberg felt very insecure about being director of the film. In fact, his initial response to Quincy Jones' request was no. Spielberg felt that his knowledge of the deep South was inadequate and that the film should've been directed by someone of color, who could've at least related to the struggles faced by many blacks living in the old south. Quincy Jones then argued, "No, I want you to do it. And besides, did you have to be an alien to direct ET?" Spielberg appreciated his friend's logic and decided to take the role as director of the film. See more »

Goofs

During the church scenes with the "God's Trying To Tell You Something" track, a Hammond organ is audible being played through a Leslie rotary speaker in the left channel. However, the Leslie (then known as Vibratone) rotary speaker wasn't introduced until the mid to late forties and it certainly was not marketed alongside a Hammond organ. The Hammond Organ Company and Electro Music, the company which manufactured Leslie speakers, were involved in a bitter dispute over the popularity of the Leslie versus Hammond's own line of stationary tone cabinets. See more »

Quotes

Miss Millie: You kids are so clean. You wanna come work for me, be my maid?
Sofia: Hell no.
See more »


Soundtracks

Body and Soul
Music by Johnny Green (as John Green)
Lyrics by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour and Frank Eyton
Performed by Coleman Hawkins and his Orchestra
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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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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