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


Steven Spielberg


Menno Meyjes (screenplay), Alice Walker (novel)
1,701 ( 213)
Nominated for 11 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


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




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The stage musical adaption of the movie opened at the Broadway Theater in New York City on December 1, 2005, ran for 910 performances, and was nominated for the 2006 Tony Awards for the Best Musical, Book and Score. See more »


A large round Coca Cola button sign is shown when Sophia says "Hell No". This scene is set in the 1920's, and these particular Coke signs were not produced until the 1950's. See more »


Shug: [after telling Albert that she and her husband are leaving] Celie is coming with us.
Albert: What?
Shug: Celie is coming with us to Memphis.
Albert: Over my dead body.
Shug: You satisfied? That what you want?
Albert: [to Celie] NOW What's wrong with you?
Celie: You a low down dirty dog, that's what's wrong. Time for me to get away from you, and enter into Creation. And your dead body'd be just the welcome mat I need.
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Crazy Credits

Film title logo when end credits are done See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Oprah Winfrey/Joe Jackson (1986) See more »


Junk Bucket Blues
Written by Porter Grainger
Performed by Get Happy Band
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

User Reviews

8 November 2004 | by butterfingerSee all my reviews

Steven Spielberg is, ironically, the most unfairly underrated man in Hollywood. There are so many directors that are content to make blatantly unoriginal works but Spielberg is the most original and ethical crowd-pleaser in America. And yet he is considered one of the men who ruined cinema. People complain that his Jaws was so successful that it encouraged producers to make hackwork movies that will undoubtedly make millions (bringing Hollywood cinema to where it is today). First of all, George Lucas's Star Wars is more responsible for this. Secondly, who are we to blame Spielberg for the deeds of the producers/filmmakers who were (superficially) influenced by him? What annoys me even more than this is that so few people realize that his films keep getting better as his career goes on (with the exception of Schindler's List, Amistad, the Jurassic Park movies, and Saving Private Ryan). Jaws is probably his least impressive extremely impressive film he has made. The Color Purple, for example, which was made in the 80s, is one of his best films to date. It is so dripping with complexity and detail; it differs from Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan in the sense that, when you watch it, you don't think, 'Oh this is a movie about the life of an African American family in the early twentieth century.' 'Themes' and 'topics' fade away and the film just becomes…life. It is about people, not historical figures. Danny Glover plays Albert, a nasty man who marries Celie (Whoopi Goldberg). He is furiously disappointed with the fact that he did not get to marry Netti (Akosua Busia), Celie's sister. As a result, he beats Celie and, as a result of that, Celie becomes painfully quiet and unable to smile without putting her hand in front of her mouth. The relationship between Celie and Albert is hard-hitting, melancholic, and funny. Neither character is treated cartoonishly and both actors play their characters with fairness and delicacy. This is not a work of easy melodrama. It makes you think about subjects such as femininity, the black population's quest for independence at the beginning of the new century, and the eruption of violence in a relationship without ever cheating or faltering a single step.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

7 February 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moon Song See more »

Filming Locations:

Mentryville, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,710,333, 22 December 1985

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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