7.8/10
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209 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
1,423 ( 668)
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:

It's about life. It's about love. It's about us. 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

Harpo's name is actually Oprah spelled backwards, and is the name of Oprah Winfrey's production company. It's also the first name of one of the Marx Brothers (albeit a stage name). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Celie: [lunging towards Albert with a knife] I curse you. Until you do right by me everything you think about is gonna crumble!
Sofia: Don't do it Mrs. Celie. Don't trade places with what I been through.
Shug: Come on, Celie, let's go to the car.
Sofia: He ain't worth it, he ain't worth it.
Albert: Who you think you is? You can curse nobody. Look at you. Your black, you're poor, you're ugly, you're a woman, you're nothing at all!
Celie: Until you do right by me, everything you even think about gonna fail!
Grady: It's been a pleasure meeting ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 14 March 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Hot Lips
Written by Henry Busse, Henry Lange and Lou Davis
Performed by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"A powerful insight into the life of a mistreated black woman in the Deep South"
4 January 2013 | by Rocco CampanaroSee all my reviews

This stunning and enthralling portrayal, directed by the marvelous Steven Spielberg, is a true gem for reminding the world of the hardships of the ancestors of America's black peoples. Celie, an uneducated black woman is mistreated by her father, her "Mister", her step-children and almost anyone she is forced to endure – aside from sister Nettie of course whose companionship, I believe, reiterates an important message: to love each other no matter what.

The brief injections of comedic satire in the picture enable Goldberg, in her debut, to show the world what she really is – a comic. A Golden Globe Award-winning and Oscar-nominated performance allows Goldberg to profess the destitute situation of the protagonist. One feels this was Goldberg's time to shine and really did thoroughly deserve that golden statuette from the Academy in comparison to her actual Oscar-winning supporting performance in 1990's Ghost. Nonetheless, the lack of real acclaim for this picture doesn't take away its drawing and moving storyline to see if, for once, Celie can really be happy.

I didn't really recognize much of the supporting cast of the movie, expect from Oprah Winfrey. Now, I was not expecting much from Winfrey's performance as time and time again you get the occasional 'pop' and 'TV' stars who try and make the 'transition' into film. However, I was pleasantly surprised of Winfrey's portrayal of a distraught and let's say 'difficult' housewife Sofia. Although her character, I felt, did in a sense perpetuate the stereotype of the "big angry black woman" which I believe the film was trying to move away from. All in all, Winfrey garnered both an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination.

One of the most beautiful pictures I have seen in years, and, not a single Oscar win, that I'll never know.


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