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The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  7 February 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 57,631 users  
Reviews: 191 user | 65 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 »


After Shug kisses Celie, she raises one hand to cover her smile. The next shot shows Celie with two hands raised. See more »


Squeak: You just a big ol' heifer!
See more »


Referenced in Hunter: Death Machine (1986) See more »


Maybe God Is Tryin' to Tell You Somethin'
Written by Quincy Jones, Andraé Crouch (as Andrae Crouch), David Del Sesto and Bill Maxwell Vocals By Táta Vega
See more »

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User Reviews

Vintage Spielberg In Both The Good & Bad
27 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As with many Steven Spielberg films, this is a beautiful-looking movie, scene-after-scene almost looking like paintings. To me, that was the main attraction of the movie because the story - although powerful - to me, wasn't as appealing as the rich visuals. It's also one of those films almost guaranteed to bring a tear or two to ones eyes at the end.

This is much more involving story if you are a woman or black person, because you can relate more to the characters in the film. As with typical Hollywood, political correctness rules: most of the men (white or black) are bad while the women (mostly black) are all good. If you are a male watching the movie, this bias in the story can be very annoying.

Individually, I remember first watching this (I've seen it a couple of times) and being surprised what a good actress Oprah Winfrey was, and how appealing was Whoopi Goldberg's character "Celie." Goldberg became a star after this film (also for her comedy appearances on TV) but I always thought this role was, by far, her best or, at the least, her most appealing.

Rae Dawn Chong never looked prettier and Margaret Avery played a real charmer. Danny Glover was effectively nasty. You wanted to punch his lights out!

Overall, expect for what I mentioned above, this was good storytelling and certainly an involving, emotional story.

29 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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