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The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  7 February 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 57,660 users  
Reviews: 191 user | 66 critic

A black Southern woman (Whoopi Goldberg) struggles to find her identity after suffering years of abuse from her father and others over 40 years.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 11 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Moon Song  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$94,175,854 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Harpo's name is actually Oprah spelled backwards and is the name of Oprah Winfrey's production company. See more »


When Squeak hits Sofia in the nightclub, Sofia moves her head before she is hit. See more »


Shug: [after telling Albert that she and her husband are leaving] Celie is coming with us.
Albert: What?
Shug: Celie is coming with us to Memphis.
Albert: Over my dead body.
Shug: You satisfied? That what you want?
Albert: [to Celie] NOW What's wrong with you?
Celie: You a low down dirty dog, that's what's wrong. Time for me to get away from you, and enter into Creation. And your dead body'd be just the welcome mat I need.
See more »


Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »


Music by Quincy Jones
Lyrics by Quincy Jones, Menno Meyjes and Rod Temperton
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User Reviews

Simply beautiful
26 March 2002 | by (United States of America) – See all my reviews

Simply beautiful really is the only way to describe such a wondrous film, one which warms the heart, nourishes the soul, and brings a tear to the eye. This statement is neither hyperbolic nor exaggerated, one of many reasons I suggest you see this film.

The film opens in 1909 when Celie (Whoopi Goldberg in her feature film debut) as a young girl, as well as a victim of incest, impregnated by her father. Unattractive and unloved, separated from her beloved sister and children, Celie has no other option than to be wedded to an abusive, impoverished, and philandering husband named Albert (Danny Glover), a man who treats her no better than a slave. However, Celie's life forever changes when Albert returns home in accompaniment with his mistress Shug (Margaret Avery), a beautiful Blues singer.

In spite of the seemingly hopeless situation the film's plot provides Celie with, the Color Purple is not a tale of her despair, but rather her triumph, one which is immensely inspiring. Stellar in every aspect this film is, including Stephen Spielberg's highly credible direction, the acting, especially of the four most prominent stars: Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey (both quite impressive in their debuts), Danny Glover, and Margaret Avery, the plot, etc. As one of my most revered novels and films, I definitely recommend the Color Purple.

Grade: A+

59 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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