The Purple Rose of Cairo

( 3 )

Overview

Woody Allen blurs the the boundaries between the real and unreal in this unique comic fantasy. The scene is a small town in the mid-1930s. Trapped in a dead-end job and an abusive marriage, Cecelia Mia Farrow regularly seeks refuge in the local movie house. She becomes so enraptured by the latest attraction, an RKO screwball comedy called The Purple Rose of Cairo, that she returns to the theatre day after day. During one of these visits, the film's main character Tom Baxter Jeff Daniels, pauses in his dialogue, ...
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Overview

Woody Allen blurs the the boundaries between the real and unreal in this unique comic fantasy. The scene is a small town in the mid-1930s. Trapped in a dead-end job and an abusive marriage, Cecelia Mia Farrow regularly seeks refuge in the local movie house. She becomes so enraptured by the latest attraction, an RKO screwball comedy called The Purple Rose of Cairo, that she returns to the theatre day after day. During one of these visits, the film's main character Tom Baxter Jeff Daniels, pauses in his dialogue, turns towards the audience, and says to Cecelia, "My God, how you must love this picture." Then he climbs out of the movie, much to the consternation of the rest of the audience and the other characters on screen. Liberated from his customary black-and-white environs, he accompanies Cecelia on a tour of the town, eventually falling in love with her. Meanwhile, the other Purple Rose characters, unable to proceed with the film, carry on a discussion with themselves. Desperately, the RKO executives seek out Gil Shepherd, the actor who played the hero of Purple Rose. Shepherd also played by Daniels, is sent to Cecelia's hometown to see if he can repair the damage.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
In the Woody Allen canon, The Purple Rose of Cairo marked perhaps the pinnacle of his Mia Farrow era. This is a charming story about an abused, mousy woman (Farrow) who escapes from her alcoholic husband (Danny Aiello) by going to the movies and catching the attention of an on-screen film hero (played with wonderful knowingness by the under-appreciated Jeff Daniels). Allen reversed the effect of Buster Keaton's projectionist's entering a film in Sherlock Jr. by having Daniels's character come off the screen and into Farrow's life. One of several Allen pieces to exhibit his fascination with the entertainment culture of the earlier years of the 20th century (see also Radio Days, Broadway Danny Rose, Bullets over Broadway and Sweet and Lowdown), The Purple Rose of Cairo features a strong, straightforward script that is also not burdened by any actors trying to play Woody Allen. It is a perfect vehicle for Farrow, who is appealing and sympathetic, and the film dotes on her. The movie is redeemed not by a fairy-tale ending, but by an appreciation of the limits of escapism. It masterfully shows us why movies were so alluring during the Great Depression, and what function they served.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/6/2001
  • UPC: 883904127161
  • Original Release: 1985
  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mia Farrow Cecilia
Jeff Daniels Tom Baxter, Gil Shepherd
Danny Aiello Monk
Dianne Wiest Emma
Van Johnson Larry
Zoe Caldwell Countess
John Wood Jason
Milo O'Shea Father Donnelly
Deborah Rush Rita
Irving Metzman Theatre Manager
John Rothman Mr. Hirsch's Lawyer
Stephanie Farrow Cecilia's sister
Alexander H. Cohen Raoul Hirsch
Camille Saviola Olga
Karen Akers Kitty Haynes
Michael Tucker Gil's Agent
Annie Joe Edwards Delilah
Peter McRobbie Communist
Juliana Donald Usherette
Edward Herrmann Henry
David Kieserman Diner boss
Eugene Anthony Arturo
Ebb Miller Bandleader
Juliet Taylor
Peter Von Berg Drugstore Customer
Elaine Grollman Diner Patron
Victoria Zussin Diner Patron
Mark Hammond Diner Patron
Wade Barnes Diner Patron
Joseph G. Graham Diner Patron
Don Quigley Diner Patron
Maurice Brenner Diner Patron
Paul Herman Penny Pitcher
Rick Petrucelli Penny Pitcher
Peter Castellotti Penny Pitcher
Milton Seaman Ticket Buyer
Mimi Weddell Ticket Buyer
Tom Degidon Ticket Taker
Mary Hedahl Popcorn Seller
Margaret Thompson Movie Audience
George Hamlin Movie Audience
Helen Hanft Movie Audience
Leo Postrel Movie Audience
Helen Miller Movie Audience
George Martin Movie Audience
Crystal Field Movie Audience
Ken Chapin Reporter
Robert Trebor Reporter
Benjamin Rayson Moviegoer
Jean Shevlin Moviegoer
Albert S. Bennett Moviegoer
Martha Sherrill Moviegoer
Gretchen MacLane Moviegoer
Edwin Bordo Moviegoer
Andrew Murphy Policeman
Tom Kubiak Policeman
Ray Serra Hollywood Executive
George J. Manos Press Agent
David Tice Waiter
James Lynch Maitre D'
Sydney Blake Variety Reporter
David Weber Photo Double
Glenne Headly Hooker
Willie Tjan Hooker
Lela Ivey Hooker
Drinda La Lumia Hooker
Loretta Tupper Music Store Owner
Technical Credits
Woody Allen Director, Screenwriter
Fern Buchner Makeup
W. Steven Graham Art Director
Robert Greenhut Producer
Dick Hyman Score Composer
Jack Rollins Executive Producer
Carol Joffe Set Decoration/Design
Charles H. Joffe Executive Producer
John Kasarda Production Designer
Jeffrey Kurland Costumes/Costume Designer
Susan E. Morse Editor
Michael Peyser Associate Producer, Production Manager
Edward Pisoni Art Director
James J. Sabat Sound/Sound Designer
Justin Scoppa Set Decoration/Design
Juliet Taylor Casting
Gordon Willis Cinematographer
Stuart Wurtzel Production Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Stepping Out.

    His action threatens the "livelihood" of the other actors as well as his own, yet the mad-capped adventure starts as the on-screen actor Tom steps into the audience. Tom exasperates his fellow actors but we get to watch what occurs as the movie theater manager tries to find out how to "capture" the star of the show. With all sincerity Tom wants to leave the reels and become a "real" person as well as experience the world beyond the cinema. We have the pleasure of good hilarious fun as this tale unfolds. You should, hopefully, laugh at this amusing adventure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews