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The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  7 February 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 57,675 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?


Author Alice Walker was uneasy about Steven Spielberg's appointment to direct the film; however, she was confident in a then-unknown Whoopi Goldberg after seeing her San Francisco stand-up routine in which she portrayed many different characters. See more »


When she is returning from Memphis on the train, Celie is sipping wine in the dining car. An African-American person could not eat in the dining car in the late 1930s, especially on a Southern run. See more »


Shug: I's married now! I's married now!
See more »


Referenced in Savage Harvest 2: October Blood (2006) See more »


Hot Lips
Written by Henry Busse, Henry Lange and Lou Davis
Performed by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Commenting on the 20th Anniversary of this film.
13 May 2003 | by (Chapel Hill,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

In 2005,this will be the 20th Anniversary re-released of one of the most unforgettable motion pictures ever devised for the screen. However,this movie is worth seeing since it comes from one of the most distinguished directors in Hollywood......The man who brought us the greatest films ever made..."Jaws","Close Encounters","Raiders of the Lost Ark","E.T.", "Jurassic Park","Schindler's List","Hook","Poltergeist","A.I.-Artficial Intelligence","Minority Report",and so many more.

But this movie,"The Color Purple" was one of the most powerful and meaningful films ever made and to this day it stands out as a classic example of great cimema at its finest. Based on the novel by Alice Walker(who wrote the screenplay with collaborator Menno Meyjes),and directed by Steven Spielburg.

I saw this film at a premiere they had in 1985,and to this day it moves me in such a way that I had never felt,and it is moved me to tears every time I see this masterpiece,20 years later. This film showcased a lot of brilliant talent,since it had an all-African American cast which starred Danny Glover,Whoopi Goldberg,Margaret Avery,Oprah Winfrey,Adolph Caesar, Laurence Fishburne,Rae Dawn Chong,Akosua Busia,Desreta Jackson, Willard Pugh,Leonard Jackson,Carl Anderson,and a lot more.

The film is worth seeing! Highly recommended! Grand performances all around! Anything that has to be directed by Steven Spielburg is worth seeing. Great drama at its best! It also goes to show how unfairly African-Americans were really treated back then,not just by their white counterparts,but by their own race as a whole,and this movie shows that how really cruel that is. It was one of the top ten grossing boxoffice movies of 1985,and was nominated for an impressive 12 Academy Awards including Best Picture,Best Director,and Best Actress(which Whoopi Goldberg should have won!)not to mention musical score from composer Quincy Jones. See this in the widescreen version on video and DVD!

36 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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