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Color Purple

Color Purple

4.8 42
Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery


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Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple spans the years 1909 to 1949, relating the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), a Southern black woman virtually sold into a life of servitude to her brutal husband, sharecropper Albert (Danny Glover). Celie pours out her innermost thoughts in letter form to her sister Nettie (Akousa Busia)


Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple spans the years 1909 to 1949, relating the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), a Southern black woman virtually sold into a life of servitude to her brutal husband, sharecropper Albert (Danny Glover). Celie pours out her innermost thoughts in letter form to her sister Nettie (Akousa Busia), but Albert has been hiding the letters Nettie writes back, allowing Celie to assume that Nettie is dead. Finally, Celie finds a champion in the don't-take-no-guff Sofia (Oprah Winfrey), the wife of Glover's son from a previous marriage. Alas, Sofia is "humbled" when she is beaten into submission by angry whites. Later, Celie is able to forge a strong friendship with Albert's mistress Shug (Margaret Avery). Emboldened by this, Celie begins rifling through her husband's belongings and finds Nettie's letters. Able at last to stand up to her husband, Celie leaves him to search for a new life on her own. A major box-office hit, The Color Purple was nominated for eleven Oscars. The film was co-produced by Quincy Jones, who also wrote the score.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bruce Kluger
The Color Purple was not it familiar territory for a moviemaker whose glittering screen career had relied so far on man-eating sharks, flying saucers and extraterrestrials. Yet, in the end, Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel transcended his other works, in part because it was so different. Whoopi Goldberg gives a heart-breaking, Oscar-nominated performance as Celie, a Southern black woman who in the early years of the 20th century finds herself a slave within her own home -- married to a violently abusive sharecropper (Danny Glover) and still suffering the loss of her sister, from whom she'd been forcibly separated when they were young girls. The script dips and soars through a series of poignant, sometimes melodramatic vignettes involving racist mobs, illicit love affairs and religious salvation, the latter scenes backed by a clapping and stomping gospel choir. Through it all Spielberg effectively captures the small but crucial victories of the human spirit which punctuate the story and make for an original and uplifting film.
All Movie Guide
Steven Spielberg's first cinematic attempt to delve deeper than escapism produced a rich, heartfelt epic that matched the Pulitzer Prize-winning credentials of Alice Walker's novel, receiving 11 Oscar nominations but famously winning none of them. The Color Purple is a triumph of all elements of production design, nominated for its screenplay, cinematography, makeup, costumes, art direction, score, and three of its actresses -- though not for director Spielberg. The snub may have helped push him as an artist toward such prestigious works as Schindler's List. One would hardly guess Whoopi Goldberg's roots were in comedy, given the layered dramatic performance she offers in her first real screen role. Oprah Winfrey (also debuting) and Margaret Avery are the other two-thirds of the heart-breaking dynamic between three black women in Spielberg's brutal world of racial and sexual prejudice. Even Danny Glover's role shows late-blooming sympathy, however agonizingly wrought, which demonstrates the dimension of Menno Meyjes' script. There's nothing simple about this early 20th century South, populated by characters paralyzed by the roles ascribed to them, and wickedly punished when they try to venture beyond their bounds. It boils the blood at the same time that it touches the soul, making for genuinely tear-soaked cinema with a visceral emotional payoff.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
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Special Features

Conversations with the ancestors: the Color Purple form book to screen; A collaboration of spirits: casting and acting the Color Purple; The Color Purple: the musical; Cultivating a classic: the making of the Color Purple; Behind-the-scenes and cast-focused featurette galleries; Theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Danny Glover Albert
Whoopi Goldberg Celie
Margaret Avery Shug Avery
Oprah Winfrey Sofia
Willard E. Pugh Harpo
Akosua Busia Nettie
Desreta Jackson Young Celie
Adolph Caesar Old Mister
Dana Ivey Miss Millie
Carl Anderson Rev. Samuel
Clarence Avant Actor
Susan Beaubian Corrine
Drew Bundi Brown Jook Joint Patron
Donna Buie Daisy
Reuben Cannon Actor
Rae Dawn Chong Squeak
Marcus Covington Boy
Lillian Njoki Distefano Young Tashi
Jo Ann Doster Actor
Laurence Fishburne Swain
Margaret Freeman Odessa
Bennet Guillory Grady
John Hart Mailman
Leonard Jackson Pa
Hawthorne James Jook Joint Patron
Jadili Johnson Young Adam
Peto Kinsaka Adam
Lechanda Lathrap Child
Marcus Liles Boo
Lelo Masamba Olivia
Maurice Moore Child
Carrie Murray Loretta
April Myers Emma
Daphaine Oliver Young Olivia
John Patton Preacher
Juliet Poe Church Sister
Jeris Poindexter Jook Joint Patron
Leon Rippy Store Clerk
Job Seda Actor
Katie Simon Church Sister
Howard Starr Young Harpo
Phillip Strong Mayor
Ethel Taylor Church Sister
David Thomas Road Gang Leader
James Tillis Buster
Arnold Turner Jook Joint Patron

Technical Credits
Steven Spielberg Director,Producer
Richard Alonzo Makeup
Chris Boardman Score Composer
Andrae Crouch Score Composer
Allen Daviau Cinematographer
Linda de Scenna Set Decoration/Design
Greg W. Elam Stunts
Peter Guber Producer
Jack Hayes Score Composer
Jerry Hey Score Composer
Carole Isenberg Associate Producer
Quincy Jones Score Composer,Producer
Michael Kahn Editor
Kathleen Kennedy Producer
Randy Kerber Score Composer
Steve LaPorte Makeup
Michael Laudati Makeup
Frank Marshall Producer
Tom McCown Set Decoration/Design
Menno Meyjes Screenwriter
Gerald R. Molen Production Designer
Jon Peters Producer
Lionel Richie Songwriter
J. Michael Riva Production Designer
Aggie Guerard Rodgers Costumes/Costume Designer
Joel Rosenbaum Score Composer
Fred Steiner Score Composer
Rod Temperton Score Composer
Alice Walker Source Author
Bo Welch Art Director
Robert W. Welch Production Designer


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Color Purple 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was great i cryed i laughed. I had never seen a movie that made me feel like this.The movies was great. I also enjoy the book it was wonderfull i couldnt stop readind till i reached the end.After seeing the movie i had to read the book again i have seen it many many times and i love it each and every time. I think by now i know the whole movie by heart. Every time i watch the movie with my parents they have to shut me up cause other wise ill tell the whole movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an exceptional movie. I have about three sisters and a brother. We grew up very close and I could not see my life without them. Especially when you grow up doing so much together. Those are the memories you carry for the rest of your life no matter how apart you are from them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Spielberg proves again with this film that he is one of, if not the greatest director of all time. This story of oppression has less to do with black struggles, and more to do with the power and love that is in the human spirit. Truly the most touching and triumphant films ever made. It is still one of the Academy Awards' greatest crimes that they completely ignored this film! SHAME SHAME SHAME!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you don't cry (happy tears) non-stop from the moment you hear the words ''Miss Celie I feels like singin''' through to the end of the movie, you aren't human. A touching, beautifully filmed, epic masterpiece. You will fall in love with these characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was only ten when I saw this movie, and loved it ever since. My mother and I have been trying ti find the soundtrack to this movie for the longest, but no one seems to have one. I don't think they made one. The music in tis movie is enough to bring anybody spirits up. My favorie song is God is trying to tell you something.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best movies ever made. It's an all around beautiful story of some situations black people had to deal with at that time. Highly recommended to be watched by all races. It will truely touch you heart.
ShaNews More than 1 year ago
I have seen this movie at least 100 times, and it is absolutely amazing how this movie can still make me cry. It is such a beautifully, touching story. A classic must see for all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everyone that know's me, will tell you that this is my favorite movie of all times. From start to finish. I can not tell you how many times I have watched this movie. I laugh, cry, get angry, and sing all of the songs. The actors, the scenes, the sound track , I honestly can say there is no other movie, that even come close or that is at the top of my list, except 'It's a wonderful Life' and thats a different catagory all together. I have added this movie to my collection of movies for my family to see years, long after I'm gone. My favorite part is the ending. I still get very emotional. Very Powerful. No other movie is so much apart of me as this movie.Thank You
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this film. I was never sure why it got generally tepid reviews. The Actors are all first rate. Winfrey and Avery were given Plumb roles and ran with them. Glover was spectacular while underacting (for him). And Goldberg in her first Role exuded pathos. The REAL GEM here is Spielbergs Commentary. IF he does have a commentary track on here it would be a first. Despite his Deluxe and Special two-disc versions of movies he has never laid down an commentary track for one of the films on DVD. So it would be a great edition. In fact Scorcese, Allen and SPielberg are conspiciously absent on their DVD's none have ever done a commentary Track. And for those of us who love movies it is the SINGLE MOST important reason to BUy the DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is wonderful. When this movie was first released on video, my mother rented it and we watch it about 15 times! My mother leaves in Jersey and I leave in Kansas City, whenever we are together we watch this movie. Whoopi Goldberg is one of the best actresses of all time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was extremely young when I first saw this movie. I still watch it till this day. This is most definitely a movie that you can watch over and over...you will never get tired of it. The acting was phenomenal as well as the environment. If you have never seen this movie you must put watching it on your list!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Other than The GodFather and WestSide Story have I ever watched a movie so intently and over and over. How it did not win oscars is so shocking to me. I own all the movies that i mentioned along with all Spike Lee movies. Dr. Zhavago (sp) and Imintatio of Life are favorites. I am so glad for DVD!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best films of all time and one of my personal favorites. A terrific movie that tells the story of black woman who's become a slave to her life and her ultimate ''escape''. A wonderful adaption of the novel by Alice Walker. Oscar worthy performances by Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg. A must see.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie is great nothing can take from its breath takin appeal to every aspect of the times i think that every black person needs to see this film this lets you now not to take the things we have now for granted becuase at one time we did not have them
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is really sad I think that Alice Walker is the best. I know her grandson and he is my best friend. Alice walker was really mad when they took out the Liezban stuff because she wanted people to know the real her but after she saw it I think that she was happy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an African, and a South African for that matter, watching the movie reminds me of our long walk for freedom. The subjugation of women in our societies, still leaves a bitter taste in our mouths. The women are our daughters, sisters, lovers, wives, mothers, greandmothers, friends, colleagues, you name it. One should therefore think abouthow it would hurt if the shoe was on the other side, or their loved one was faced with the same issue.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best movies i have ever seen. I think every one should see this one.All of the actors and actress's played their part to the fullest.To tell u the truth I dont even have a favorite part im just in love with the whole movie.PEACE...And GET and/or WATCH the movie if u havent seen it yet...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is just so amazingly wonderful and touching. I have seen it many, many times. I own it both on DVD and VHS. I never fail to laugh out loud or sob or do both at the same time. Rarely has a movie touched me in such a profound and perfect way. It's also such an quotable film I can, literally, watch the movie with the sound muted and my friend Crys and I can recite the entire thing line-for-line. For those of you who never have read it (shame!), the original book by Alice Walker is also good but in a completely differenty way. I highly recommend both. If I could give any title more than 5 stars, this would be the one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never had a movie other than Imitation of Life touch me so personally. I felt the pain, the anger, and the joy of these people. There was no legitimate reason for this movie to not receive several awards. A friend of mine and I have a bet. He says the young soloist on "Maybe God is Trying To Tell You Something" is Shug's daughter. I don't get that impression. I would be interested in what others think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i have viewed this movie over 100 times, i know every word, every scene. This is a wonderful movie, I can't believe it did not win an oscar, all the actors were great. in one scene you may be crying an in the very next scene you're laughing so hard you're crying, I give this movie 10 stars, it's the greastest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While Steven Spielberg may have been known for his extravagant and spectacular special effects movies, his handling of The Color Purple shows the other side of extravagant and spectacular. You couldn't have asked for a better cast, a better technical crew, a better set of musicians, and, quite frankly, a better director. This movie was quite dramatic, funny, and suspenseful all the way through, and it left me sitting there with tears of joy running down my face. I became a lifetime fan of Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, and Steven Spielberg. It's a ''must see''.