7.8/10
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218 user 78 critic

The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13 | | Drama | 7 February 1986 (USA)
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A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writers:

Menno Meyjes (screenplay), Alice Walker (novel)
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Popularity
2,803 ( 584)
Nominated for 11 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny Glover ... Albert
Whoopi Goldberg ... Celie Johnson
Margaret Avery ... Shug Avery
Oprah Winfrey ... Sofia
Willard E. Pugh ... Harpo Johnson (as Willard Pugh)
Akosua Busia ... Nettie Harris
Desreta Jackson ... Young Celie Harris
Adolph Caesar ... Old Mister Johnson
Rae Dawn Chong ... Squeak
Dana Ivey ... Miss Millie
Leonard Jackson ... Pa Harris
Bennet Guillory ... Grady
John Patton Jr. John Patton Jr. ... Preacher
Carl Anderson ... Reverend Samuel
Susan Beaubian ... Corrine
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize Winning Story. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 February 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moon Song See more »

Filming Locations:

Mentryville, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,710,333, 22 December 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$98,467,863

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$146,292,009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Spielberg had Producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters banned from the set. He did this because of their history of offering "suggestions" during production. See more »

Goofs

When Sophia is struck with the butt of the gun she is knocked unconscious. Then the wind blows her skirt and Sophia moves her arm down to cover up. See more »

Quotes

Sofia: [after telling Celie she knows how she feels] Oh... Sofia home, now. Sofia home. Things is gonna be changin' around here. Pass me them peas, boy.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Body and Soul
Music by Johnny Green (as John Green)
Lyrics by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour and Frank Eyton
Performed by Coleman Hawkins and his Orchestra
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Remarkably moving story from the maestro
18 April 2000 | by King_OpossumSee all my reviews

This is a truly wonderful film from the guru of directing, Mr Steven Spielberg. This great director has suffered much criticism throughout his career. He was slammed by a lot of the press for 'never really growing up' and it took SCHINDLER'S LIST to quiten these critics. However almost ten years before his remarkable account of the Holocaust Spielberg directed this gem.

It is the moving tale of a young black girl born into a male-dominated world, and tells the story of her gradual loss of identity followed by her defiance in reclaiming the life she lost. This was Whoopi Goldberg's remarkable screen debut that assured her of major stardom, and it is not hard to see why. Her fear towards her husband is frighteningly real, as is her silent rebellious side that ventures outwards in the last section of the film. Danny Glover paints a horrific image of a cruel husband, and still manages to give us a valid reason why he acts the way he does, before a moving conclusion to his character's development. The part of Sofia is also expertly played by Oprah Winfrey, especially during the Christmas reunion scene when the viewer can't help but share her pain through to joy. A special treat is an appearance by Laurence Fishburne (then Larry) in a small role.

It is cinema such as this that proves Steven Spielberg's genius. You will often forget that it is him you are watching (not least by the lack of another genius, Mr John Williams), but it only adds to this director's credit that he is so versatile. If anyone passed over this film as a possible blip in Spielberg's career (as I shamefully did!) watch it now! You will not be disappointed.


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