IMDb > The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
The Purple Rose of Cairo
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The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) More at IMDbPro »

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The Purple Rose of Cairo -- A comedy-fantasy about a Depression-era movie fan/waitress whose day-to-day existence is enlivened when her latest idol walks right off the screen and into her life!
The Purple Rose of Cairo -- In 1930s New Jersey, a movie character walks off the screen and into the real world.


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7.8/10   33,865 votes »
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Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Woody Allen (written by)
View company contact information for The Purple Rose of Cairo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 May 1985 (Australia) See more »
She's finally met the man of her dreams. He's not real but you can't have everything. [Video]
In 1930s New Jersey, a movie character walks off the screen and into the real world. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 17 wins & 11 nominations See more »
(154 articles)
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User Reviews:
Fresh and inventive Woody. See more (128 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Mia Farrow ... Cecilia

Jeff Daniels ... Tom Baxter / Gil Shepherd

Danny Aiello ... Monk
Irving Metzman ... Theater Manager
Stephanie Farrow ... Cecilia's Sister
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

Paul Herman ... Penny Pitcher
Rick Petrucelli ... Penny Pitcher
Peter Castellotti ... Penny Pitcher
Milton Seaman ... Ticket Buyer
Mimi Weddell ... Ticket Buyer
Tom Degidon ... Ticket Taker
Mary Hedahl ... Popcorn Seller

Edward Herrmann ... Henry

John Wood ... Jason

Deborah Rush ... Rita

Van Johnson ... Larry

Zoe Caldwell ... The Countess
Eugene J. Anthony ... Arturo (as Eugene Anthony)
Ebb Miller ... Bandleader
Karen Akers ... Kitty Haynes
Annie Joe Edwards ... Delilah

Milo O'Shea ... Father Donnelly

Peter McRobbie ... The Communist
Camille Saviola ... Olga

Juliana Donald ... Usherette

Dianne Wiest ... Emma
Margaret Thompson ... Movie Audience
George Hamlin ... Movie Audience
Helen Hanft ... Movie Audience
Leo Postrel ... Movie Audience
Helen Miller ... Movie Audience
George Martin ... Movie Audience
Crystal Field ... Movie Audience
Ken Chapin ... Reporter

Robert Trebor ... Reporter
Benjamin Rayson ... Movie Goer
Jean Shevlin ... Movie Goer
Albert S. Bennett ... Movie Goer
Martha Sherrill ... Movie Goer
Gretchen MacLane ... Movie Goer
Edwin Bordo ... Movie Goer
Andrew Murphy ... Policeman #1
Tom Kubiak ... Policeman #2 (as Thomas Kubiak)
Alexander Cohen ... Raoul Hirsch

John Rothman ... Mr. Hirsch's Lawyer
Raymond Serra ... Hollywood Executive
George J. Manos ... Press Agent
David Tice ... Waiter
James Lynch ... Maitre D'
Sydney Blake ... Variety Reporter
Michael Tucker ... Gil's Agent

Peter Von Berg ... Drugstore Customer
David Weber ... Photo Double

Glenne Headly ... Hooker (as Glenne Headley)
Willie Tjan ... Hooker
Lela Ivey ... Hooker
Drinda Lalumia ... Hooker (as Drinda La Lumia)
Loretta Tupper ... Music Store Owner
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marty Appel ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Murray Bandel ... Extra - Movie Theater (uncredited)
Robert Dahdah ... Crowd (uncredited)
George Maniere ... Trumpet Player at the Copa (uncredited)
Sharon Porter-Phillips ... (uncredited)
James Prendergast ... Waiter (uncredited)

Directed by
Woody Allen 
Writing credits
Woody Allen (written by)

Produced by
Robert Greenhut .... producer
Charles H. Joffe .... executive producer
Michael Peyser .... associate producer
Jack Rollins .... executive producer
Gail Sicilia .... associate producer
Original Music by
Dick Hyman 
Cinematography by
Gordon Willis 
Film Editing by
Susan E. Morse 
Casting by
Juliet Taylor 
Production Design by
Stuart Wurtzel 
Art Direction by
Edward Pisoni 
Set Decoration by
Carol Joffe 
Costume Design by
Jeffrey Kurland 
Makeup Department
Fern Buchner .... makeup designer
Romaine Greene .... hair designer
Craig Lyman .... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Michael Peyser .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jim Chory .... second assistant director
Thomas A. Reilly .... first assistant director (as Thomas Reilly)
Liz Ryan .... dga trainee
Art Department
Prudence Farrow .... art department coordinator
James V. Gartland .... construction grip (as James Gartland Jr.)
W. Steven Graham .... assistant art director
Dan Leigh .... assistant: Mr. Wurtzel
James Mazzola .... property master
Kevin McCarthy .... set dresser
Ron Petagna .... chief carpenter
Justin Scoppa Jr. .... additional set decorator (as Justin Scoppa)
Cosmo Sorice .... stand-by scenic artist
James Sorice .... master scenic artist
Kenneth Vogt .... property man
Dave Weinman .... chief set dresser
Frank Didio .... head carpenter (uncredited)
Jean-Michel Folon .... poster designer: France (uncredited)
John Kasarda .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Christopher Nelson .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Rick Dior .... re-recording mixer: Trans/Audio Inc. (as Richard Dior)
Kathleen Earle Killeen .... apprentice sound editor
Frank Graziadei .... sound recordist
Marty Levenstein .... assistant sound editor (as Martin Levenstein)
Stuart Lieberman .... assistant sound editor
Dan Lieberstein .... sound editor
James Sabat .... production sound mixer
Louis Sabat .... boom man
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Andrew Hansard .... process projectionist
Don Hansard .... process coordinator
Mitch Wilson .... visual effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ronald Burke .... grip
James Fitzpatrick .... best boy
Brian Hamill .... still photographer
Douglas C. Hart .... assistant cameraman
Dick Mingalone .... camera operator
Robert Paone .... second assistant cameraman (as Bob Paone)
Ray Quinlan .... gaffer
Robert Ward .... key grip (as Bob Ward)
Douglas Pellegrino .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Andrew D. Schwartz .... additional still photographer (uncredited)
Andrew D. Schwartz .... still photographer: re-shoots (uncredited)
David J. Schweitzer .... special photography effects (uncredited)
Casting Department
Ellen Lewis .... casting assistant
Todd Thaler .... additional casting (as Todd Michael Thaler)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bill Christians .... wardrobe supervisor: men's
Patricia Eiben .... wardrobe supervisor: women's
Isis Mussenden .... costume assistant
John Michael Reefer .... wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Kris Cole .... apprentice film editor
Richard Nord .... assistant film editor
Mark Fish .... computer editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Walt Levinsky .... music recording supervisor (as Walter Levinsky)
Joe Malin .... music coordinator
Roy B. Yokelson .... music recording engineer: National Recording Studios, Inc.
Diane Andolsek .... additional music score recording engineer (uncredited)
Greg Fulginiti .... music engineer (uncredited)
Vince Giordano .... musician (uncredited)
George Maniere .... musician (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Harry J. Leavey .... transportation captain (as Harry Leavey)
Patrick Hogan .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Tony Adler .... production staff
Kay Chapin .... script supervisor
James A. Davis .... production staff (as James Davis)
Jonathan Filley .... location manager
James Greenhut .... production staff
Joseph Hartwick .... production auditor
John Healy .... location scout
Amy Herman .... production staff
Mary Kane .... location scout
Peter Lombardi .... assistant production auditor
Jane Read Martin .... assistant: Mr. Allen
Tom McKinley .... associate: Mr. Kurland
Joseph Pierson .... production staff
Dana Robin .... location scout
Helen Robin .... production coordinator
Steve Rose .... studio manager
Barry Strugatz .... location scout
Carl Turnquest Jr. .... projectionist
Michael Wild .... production staff
Fred Astaire .... the producers also thank
Bob Lefcovich .... the producers also thank: Modern Telecommunications, Inc.
Jack Richards .... the producers also thank: Bertrand Island Park
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
82 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The name of the shoe store was "O'Sullivan's Heels and Soles". The film's lead actress Mia Farrow's is the daughter of Maureen O'Sullivan, her last name being O'Sullivan.See more »
Anachronisms: 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?
Theater Manager:You're gonna like this one, it's better than last week's, more romantic.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Film Geek (2005)See more »
One Day at a TimeSee more »


How does it end?
What film is Cecilia watching at the end?
See more »
37 out of 43 people found the following review useful.
Fresh and inventive Woody., 29 January 2005
Author: OllieZ from Wolves, England

The Purple Rose of Cairo really does rate up there with Woody's best - from Annie Hall, Manhattan to the earlier, more slapstick efforts, such as Love and Death and Sleeper. Cairo happens to be one of the best 80's movies Woody actually made - Crimes and Misdeameanours and Braodway Danny Rose being other greats.

The reason why I think that Cairo is better than the other 80's efforts is that the idea is really inventive. The movie raises so many questions of reality and fantasy, but does so in a highly surreal fashion. The switching of scenes, from reality to fantasy (movie) made me realise where movies take us as a viewer. Cecelia finds solace in the world of movies and comes up against the decision of which is better - the perfect world of movie, or reality, where things are never certain.

Jeff Daniels is so enigmatic in this movie. Not only as Tom, the screen legend, but as Gil the actor. Two very different characters, both played brilliantly. Mia Farrow is great as usual, and shows how broad her talent is (Broadway Danny Rose and Radio Days - both very different characters. Danny Aiello is good as the lazy slob-of-a-husband, Monk.

Like Radio Days, Woody isn't actually on screen (he narrated Radio Days, mind) and in a way this eased me up. Woody is fantastic when he is on screen, but this film benefited from losing his neurotic nature, and instead concentrated on the era, the love of movies and the complex themes of a movie within a movie. I will admit, some neurosis is retained in the dialogue (talk of morality to prostitutes!) - and this added to the surreal nature of the movie.

This has to be one of my favourite films Woody has directed. Annie Hall probably being my fave, Manhattan, Crimes and Misdeamenours and Sleeper following. Cairo is so constantly fresh and inventive, I couldn't help being captivated during it's short running time. I recommend this to any fan - or any lover of movies themselves. A real treat.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Were the 30's eras actors based on real actors? djmils
Did Gil really love Cecilia? dianax007
More movies where the line between movie and reality is blured? michael-rager
Do people not recognize Allen's cinematic influences? brothersk
Creepy Cover Art foxmulder1993
The premise of the movie Minty620
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