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The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13 | | Drama | 7 February 1986 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.



(novel), (screenplay)
1,831 ( 145)
Nominated for 11 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harpo Johnson (as Willard Pugh)
Desreta Jackson ...
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?


Steven Spielberg: [father] Nettie's father. See more »


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 »


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


Referenced in Muchachada nui: Episode #3.6 (2009) See more »


Scarification Chant and Katutoku Corinne
Conducted and Written by Caiphus Semenya
Vocal by Letta Mbulu
See more »

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User Reviews

huge achievement from Spielberg
14 July 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The film version of Alice Walker's hugely emotive and influential 1983 novel (written largely as letters from the central character Celie to God) was a massive Oscar success, and rightly so.

In the role of the abused and awakened Celie, Whoopi Goldberg gave her best screen performance by miles. Not far behind her was Oprah Winfrey as Sofia, the fiery woman tamed by fate. Others in the cast fleshed out the characters Walker had introduced so clearly on the page - Danny Glover as Albert, Celie's abusive husband; Margaret Avery as Shug, a force of change for the good; Willard Pugh and Rae Dawn Chong as Harpo and Squeak; Susan Beaubian as Corrine, the preacher's wife; and the much-missed Carl Anderson (otherwise best known as Judas in the 1973 film of Jesus Christ Superstar) as preacher Samuel.

Beautifully paced and sensitively written, 'The Color Purple' does justice to its source while opening out the story to involve viewers of a feature-length drama.

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