Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Color Purple

1985 American Feature

Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Adolph Caesar, Margaret Avery, Rae Dawn Chong, Oprah Winfrey, Willard Pugh, Akosua Busia, Desreta Jackson, Dana Ivey and Larry Fishburne
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Menno Meyjes, based on the novel by Alice Walker

In the American South of the 1900s-1940s, a poor black woman named Celie suffers a life of bitter circumstance, yet she finds her self-worth through the help of two strong female companions.


  • Internet Movie Database: 7.6/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 88% / Audience: 92%
  • Metacritic - Critics: 62% / Audience: 7.7%
  • OMG rating: 7/10

  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Actress (Goldberg), Supporting Actress (Avery, Winfrey), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design, Original Score, Original Song ("Miss Celie's Blues (Sister)") and Makeup.
  • BAFTA Award nomination for Adapted Screenplay.
  • Casting Society of America Award for Best Casting for Feature Film - Drama.
  • Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Drama (Goldberg); also nominated for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Director, Supporting Actress (Winfrey) and Original Score.
  • NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Motion Picture and Lead Actress (Goldberg).
  • National Board of Review Award for Best Film and Actress (Goldberg).
  • Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Adapted Screenplay.

  • Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple was first published in 1982. It won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction.
  • Casting Call: Nell Carter, Lola Falana, Jennifer Holliday, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Alfre Woodard.
  • Feature film debuts of Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.
  • Shug and Celie's lesbian relationship is more pronounced in the book, but only hinted at in the film. Steven Spielberg admits that his greatest mistake in directing this film was his lack of courage portraying their relationship. At the time of filming, Spielberg feared that overt sexuality between the two characters would alienate audiences, a decision he now regrets.
  • The first PG-13-rated film to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. 
  • The Color Purple was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, but failed to win a single one, tying the record set by The Turning Point (1977) for the most Oscar nominations without a single win.
  • The novel was also adapted into a stage musical that premiered on Broadway in 2005. Oprah Winfrey served as a producer. Nominated for 11 Tony Awards, the show's Celie, LaChanze, won Best Actress in a Musical. American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino made her Broadway debut in the role.
  • In 2006, The Color Purple was ranked #51 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Cheers" list.

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