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The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance  |  9 May 1985 (Australia)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 33,377 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 128 user | 68 critic | 7 from

In 1930s New Jersey, a movie character walks off the screen and into the real world.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Irving Metzman ...
Theater Manager
Stephanie Farrow ...
David Kieserman ...
Diner Boss
Elaine Grollman ...
Diner Patron
Victoria Zussin ...
Diner Patron
Mark Hammond ...
Diner Patron
Wade Barnes ...
Diner Patron
Joseph G. Graham ...
Diner Patron
Don Quigley ...
Diner Patron
Maurice Brenner ...
Diner Patron
Penny Pitcher
Rick Petrucelli ...
Penny Pitcher


Cecilia is a waitress in New Jersey during the Depression and is searching for an escape from her dreary life. Tom Baxter is a dashing young archaeologist in the film "The Purple Rose of Cairo." After losing her job Cecilia goes to see the film in hopes of raising her spirits. Much to her surprise Tom Baxter walks off the screen and into her life. There's only one problem..Tom isn't real. Meanwhile Hollywood is up in arms when they dicover that other Tom Baxters are trying to leave the screen in other theatres. Will Tom ever return and finish the film or will he decide to stay in the real world? Written by Ricky Darbonne <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She's finally met the man of her dreams. He's not real but you can't have everything. [Video]


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 May 1985 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

La rosa púrpura del Cairo  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$10,600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jeff Daniels opened a playhouse in his hometown of Chelsea, Michigan called "The Purple Rose." See more »


Although the film's fictional namesake has scenes filmed in the Copacabana club in New York, the club was not open until November 1940. This is not consistent with the actual film, which is set during the Great Depression. See more »


[first lines]
Theater Manager: Oh Cecilia, be careful! You all right?
Cecilia: Yeah.
Theater Manager: You're gonna like this one, it's better than last week's, more romantic.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Alexander Cohen's name is listed as "Alexander H. Cohen" in the opening credits, although the middle initial is dropped in the end credits. See more »


Featured in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) See more »


One Day at a Time
Written by Dick Hyman
Sung by Karen Akers twice
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of his Great Ones
25 July 2002 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

A movie I like to recommend to people who really dislike Woody Allen (because of his on-screen characters or off-screen life). And I usually get positive feedback.....he does not appear in this movie, and that makes sense because there really are no characters he could play in The Purple Rose of Cairo. It is a hugely entertaining movie--one of his best. Sharp, hilarious, and poignant. And anyone who can keep a dry eye for that ending must be a machine. This is the movie where Jeff Daniels really gets to strut his best comic stuff. He's always been underrated in my opinion. He's terrific at playing the "Everyman," but in Allen's movie he has a duel role--the clueless movie hunk who leaps off the screen to be with Mia Farrow, and the frustrated actor who plays him. Farrow is also good, back to playing mousey after her bold turn in Broadway Danny Rose. I really can't say enough about this. I would rank it as his best film of the '80s. I never get tired of watching it. I don't like using this adjective, but it seems to fit the is magical.

38 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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