The Color Purple (1985) USA
The Color Purple Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Steven Spielberg
Studio:Warner Home Video
Producer:Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, Kathleen Kennedy
Writer:Alice Walker, Menno Meyjes
Date Added:2006-03-27
Awards:Nominated for 11 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 8 nominations
Picture Format:Widescreen
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Languages:English, Dolby Digital 5.1, English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, French, Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Subtitles:English, Spanish, French
Director's Cut
Steven Spielberg  ...  (Director)
Alice Walker, Menno Meyjes  ...  (Writer)
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.  ...  Preacher
Carl Anderson  ...  Reverend Samuel
Susan Beaubian  ...  Corrine
Comments: Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize Winning Story.

Summary: Steven Spielberg, proving he's one of the few modern filmmakers who has the visual fluency to be capable of making a great silent film, took a melodramatic, D.W. Griffith-inspired approach to filming Alice Walker's novel. His tactics made the film controversial, but also a popular hit. You can argue with the appropriateness of Spielberg's decision, but his astonishing facility with images is undeniable--from the exhilarating and eye-popping opening shots of children playing in paradisiacal purple fields to the way he conveys the brutality of a rape by showing hanging leather belts banging against the head of the shaking bed. In a way it's a shame that Whoopi Goldberg, a stage monologist who made her screen debut in this movie, went on to become so famous, because it was, in part, her unfamiliarity that made her understated performance as Celie so effective. (This may be the first and last time that the adjective understated can be applied to Goldberg.) Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including best picture and actress (supporting players Oprah Winfrey and Margaret Avery were also nominated), it was quite a scandal--and a crushing blow to Spielberg--when it won none. The digital video disc requires flipping to play the whole movie. --Jim Emerson