Color Purple

Color Purple

Danny Glover
Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Danny Glover
Danny Glover
, Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg
, Margaret Avery
Margaret Avery
Steven Spielberg

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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), 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: 05/15/2007
UPC: 0085391163107
Original Release: 1985
Rating: PG-13
Source: Warner Home Video
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time: 2:34:00
Sales rank: 1,725

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