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on November 14, 2007
Recently I was at HMV and came across The Color Purple.. It hit me and I realized CRAP I don't have this in my collection. I also was very surprised when I got home to tell my my wife what I bought and she never read the book or saw the movie. I had seen the film as a little boy at 8-9 years old. As I was on the subway reading the back of the cover, and to my amazement I remember the story line and I can visualize all the characters, Mister, Celie, Shug, Nettie, and also remembered the Mail Box and to me had it own unique character.

I then realized that The Color Purple meant more to me then I thought. Its part of my childhood. As I recalled the movie in my head I realized that I didn't forget the characters. Usually you remember 1 or 2 at most when you're a kid. But the way that Spielberg filmed the movie, which I didn't know, WoW. You'll learn more in the special features, really interesting about the cast and the other.

I haven't seen the film in 20 years but I knew where the dramatic parts were to come, and poke my wife to get ready. As a man, I think all men who saw the film had to cry. Because Mister was either your father, uncle, brother/ in- law, or Granddad, and you hated those characteristics. And you can also see how Celie can be your mom, sister/ in-law, aunt or grandma. The movie is a must see but very hard to watch as a family. Your drawn into the realism of the characters, and the harshness of the story. The story is very obscured in the sense that everyone in the world of any race can relate too. But you don't think someone will write a book about the sensitivity and then do a movie. The film is fictional but we know things like this happen then and now.

I also want to mention the film was nominated for 11 Oscars and didn't even win 1. Not 1, and I wonder why people think the Academy is racist. This is like the first time Hollywood has made an all African American cast adopted from a African American women who the Pulitzer Prize for the book. Giving an Oscar to The Color Purple was and should've been automatic. Another shame and embarrassment to the Academy. If anything at least Best Picture. I believe everyone who knows The Color Purple automatically visualizes the cover of the movie and sees the shadow of Whoopi on the chair. Reason is when you saw the cover you may have forgotten about it, but in the film Spielberg makes you see the transition of young Celie and mature Celie just from that picture where you anticipate to see again then 2nd time you watch the film. Absolutely what started Oprah's career and Whoopi. Made a star of Danny Glover who also should have won an Oscar for his unbelievable performance.

The film is originally adapted from a book by Alice Walker. The film is about Celie a young black woman, who is abused by her step-farther and becomes pregnant by him, who promptly sells the baby. Celie is later quickly married off at 15 to a man that considers her to be worthless and soon the abuse occurs again. She has become a slave to her husband, there is some joy when Nettie her sister comes to stay but soon is forced out by mister (celie's husband). Celie although devastated by their separation, finds some comfort in visiting friends, but her battle with her husband continues. The only hope she keeps is thinking about Nettie her children and speaking to God.. The film is touching and beautifully done, It is a timeless classic, powerful and moving. Definitely one to watch.. You will remember these characters for life Guranteed
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on July 13, 2004
This film received 11 Oscar Nominations back in 1985, won none of them(Shame on you, Academy voters!), and really should have won Best Picture over "Out of Africa." Whoopi Goldberg never got another role like this one, showing her incredible and untapped acting talent by way of Steven Spielberg's inspired and altogether ambitious direction. Mr. Spielberg was not even nominated for Best Director(Shame on you, Academy voters!). It was great to hear that he did win the Director's Guild Award(handed out by his peers), but this horrible oversight still needles me to this day. Back to the acting. Oprah Winfrey was given an Oscar nomination, as was Margaret Avery, but there are so many stunning performances here from the entire cast that pointing out any standout performances is nearly impossible. There is also some clever film editing(certainly the most under-rated facet of filmmaking), that keeps the film constantly fresh and the story moving forward with some fantastic cinematography. The only thing that breaks the continuity is that the character "Celie" is played by two different actresses, while her sister "Nettie" is played by a single actress both at a young age and when she is older. It is really a small discrepancy given that both actresses that play "Celie" are excellent(in particular, Whoopi Goldberg). For those who know only Whoopi's fairly lame films like "Burglar," I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised by her amazing work here. There are many moments in the film that are so genuinely touching and heartfelt that by the end of the final scene I suddenly realized that it never felt so good to cry. This is easily one of my favorite "Spielberg" films. Everything about this movie is gorgeous! Thank you.
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on May 12, 2004
This review refers to the VHS Special Widescreen Edition(Warner Bros) of "The Color Purple"....
Okay, so where to start with this remarkable film?...How bout here...Oscar People!...Did you watch this film???...11 nominations and not 1 statue to go down in the books for this beautiful cinematic achievement of 1985? Yes, the winner of the best film of that year, "Out of Africa", was also wonderful and absolutely deserving of all the accolades it received. But there was so many outstanding attributes to this film from Steven Spielberg's artful direction, to the touching performances, to the cinematography and the wonderul music headed up by Quincy Jones, that it is one that nearly 20 years later still stands up to repeated viewings and a box of Kleenex. One that is still being talked about, as I noticed the reviews are still steadily being written,and one that didn't get the recognition it deserved!
Whoppi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Margaret Avery, will touch your heart and soul with their incredible performances in this very dramatic story. Sisters Celie and Nettie have each other to love, and it seems that each other, is all they have that is beautiful in the world. When they are torn apart by unfortunate circumstances they must face the world on their own. Celie(Goldberg) is the main focus. She is forced into a situation of an abusive marriage at the early age of 14 and life for her does not get any easier from there. For decades she hopes beyond hope to hear something of her sister Nettie who's last words to Celie were, "Only death can keep us apart!". Celie's character develops quite a strength over the years and she also forms a strong kinship with an unlikely source. It is a film that is unforgettable and once seen, will stay with you always.
Whoppi did capture a Golden Globe and an Image award, and was also recognized by the Nat'l Board of Review for her outstanding work. Mr. Spielberg did not go unnoticed completely, as he was awarded the Outstanding Directoral Achievement in Motion Pictures by the Directors Guild of America. The music captured an ASCAP(Film and Television Music Award). Just see if you can get Quincy's Jones' "Miss Celie's Blues" out of your head after the film!
I've had this VHS quite a few years. It has stood up to many viewings. The picture and colors in widescreen are very nice, and the Dolby surround sound is excellent.Someday I am sure I will wear it out and then I will upgrade to the DVD, as I know I can not be without this treasure in my collection.
Every moment of this film is filled with emotion, and it is not without a few smiles as well. Highly recommended....enjoy...Laurie
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 17, 2015
Well, if you thought the book by Alice Walker was amazing, you must see the movie. Spielberg has taken the heart of the story and made it into a stunning and sensitive triumph. While it is not scene for scene identical to the Pulitzer prize-winning novel, the movie does maintain the spirit of it, bringing it to life in blazing colour. One of the scenes that is different from the novel is where Shug (short for Sugar) leads a parade of non-church goers from the speakeasy where she's performing for picnickers and boaters all the way to the church where her daddy is minister, and all the way there, she's belting the gospel hymn along with the church choir. It's a beautiful, spring day, and the reconciliation between Shug and her daddy is not only moving but symbolic of the way Celie's whole family becomes reunited: Sophia (Oprah Winfrey) and Harpo, Celie (Whoopie Goldberg) and Nettie, and Celie and her children.

I loved the way Celie and Nettie reunite in the field of purple flowers, right where the story began. I loved the music, most of which was composed by Quincy Jones. I also loved the costumes, especially the ones Nettie and Celie's children were wearing when they returned home from Africa, and Nettie wearing the purple wrap. I pretty much loved everything, right down to the purple text in the credits.

This was Whoopie's film debut and it was incredible to see her character develop; she ran a gauntlet of emotions through several decades from a scared child abused by her daddy, to a new bride in an intolerable setting, unappreciated and misused, to a woman who comes to value herself as someone with a contribution to make and a rock for others to hold onto.

Oprah's character, Sophia, was also wonderful (Oprah's acting debut also) and both she and Whoopie were nominated for Oscars for their performances; the movie itself received 8 other nominations. The movie, director, and actresses were nominated for numerous other awards and won many. Danny Glover also gave an incredible performance as Celie's husband who beat her because she wasn't Shug.

It was wonderful to see the characters from Walker's book come to life. Even the African scenes, and the way the music and the cutting was juxtaposed between the two continents, the two ways of life, came together in such a beautiful way. I can't say enough about this movie. I would say, read the book first, and then watch the movie. The DVD pictured at the top is the edition I bought and it is a book with pictures from the movie, comments from Spielberg about his initial indecision about making the movie, pages about the actors and actresses, and how the novel came to be adapted for screen. There are also several features included on the DVD which give you a broader picture about the making of the movie. Absolutely amazing!!
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on August 31, 2007
When I first saw "The Color Purple" years ago, I was astounded. Now, seeing it more recently, I'm even more blown away. Why this did not win for best picture is beyond me. Perhaps it was because the movie was ahead of its time. Maybe it was because racism is still alive and well. I don't know, but it remans one of the all time great films and for so many reasons.

First, the casting is absolutely perfect. Oprah is incredible and Whoopi is a revelation. Everyone else fits perfectly and the melding of acting and emotions reaches such a peak that it's impossible to forget that this is "just" a movie and not real life that you're watching.

Secondly, the filming, pacing, and directing are perfect. The colors are remarkable and Spielberg's direction is flawless. We're taken by the hand through a journey that crosses the ages and comes out on top. Few other directors could manage this, this well, and it's surprising that Mr. S could work so well in so many genres, but especially one dealing with this subject material.

The movie is disturbing, make no bones about that. And it shows not only white racism, but the bad way African Americans treated each other. The ending, however, makes it all worthwhile. No spoilers here, but let's just say that you'll need a tissue for the last ten minutes.

Hands down one of the best films ever, I'd also recommend "The Illusionist" and the movie "Bright Young Things" for some new Independent films that you probably won't see in theatres. All-in-all, great.
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on April 13, 2004
Alice Walker writes in "The Same River Twice" that the movie initially greatly disappointed her. Those looking for a faithful adapatation of the novel won't find it here. The characters and much of the dialogue are right out of the book but take on new form. The film needs to be appreciated for what it is: an adaptation. For the true powerful story of Celie and her sister Nettie, the novel is hard to beat.
That said, Spielberg uses good visuals for the film, and the acting is uniformly good. The actors who played Harpo and Shug seemed to have vanished from memory but Goldberg, Glover and Winfrey are very strong.
One note: I could have used a little restraint on the score. Every scene is punctuated by background music and silence would have been more effective. The score just increases the story to un-Walkerlike melodramatic proportions. The key to the story is that Celie's story is small but in the end, is about life in its entirety. We are so front and center with Celie to begin with that we know that there will be some bombastic finish. (And we are treated to at least two overblown finales, the first being Shug in the church.)
If you loved the movie, and it appears that many do, read the novel and get ready for a different but perhaps even more satisfying experience.
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on November 18, 2003
Steven Spielberg wonderfully directed and produced "The Color Purple", which was released in 1985. This became one of the best movies released that year. The only complaint is that this received 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and it didn't win any. That was wrong! Its plot, based on Alice Walker's novel, is brilliant. It digs deep into the events and the characters throughout, while never holding back a drop of emotion. Such substance keeps the audience guessing every future event and double checking every detail. Its layers of storylines keep the chain of events interesting. It proves that there's more to Celie's life than just her own trials. She changes many lives in a good way and not realizing it.
Whoopi Goldberg made a triumphant movie debut in her role as Celie Johnson, a woman being abused by her husband and yearns for a better life. She rightfully earned a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination both for Best Actress. Oprah Winfrey and Margaret Avery rightfully earned their Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress as Sophie and Shug, strong female fighters who survived past life trials. Danny Glover's role as Celia's abusive husband is one of the best performances in his career. The entire cast, major or minor, placed every drop of heart and soul through their characters.
The wardrobes and the setting were constructed wonderfully. Every detail looks like "The Color Purple" was actually filmed in the early 1900's. The research and the hard work shines. Its background offers a gloomy look into the characters' harsh lifestyles and the sad plot. This seems to have allowed the cast to express themselves deeper. Without it, the movie wouldn't have the same level of emotion that attracts the audience. Most scenes offer its emotional level through the background alone, whether it's sadness, anger, happiness, etc.
"The Color Purple" is great for those looking for a power drama. Some may have to watch it more than once to understand every event. There's a lot. Once understood a lot better, the audience will be glad to have explored it to that level.
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on November 4, 2003
The box set edition adds a very worthy touch to one of the most consummate movies in cinematic history; The Color Purple. Valuable insight is given to the making of the moving. For example, the coincidental names like Harpo-Oprah or Shug Avery-Margaret Avery. There is a very spiritual quality to the making of this movie, like fate intervened. The bonus pictures are very beautiful and adequately catch the heart of the film.
To find a real comparison to The Color Purple, it would be necessary to go way back to the great films of the 50's where all the arts forms were included.
Born in the South (in one of the cities mentioned often in the movie), I can relate directly to how authentic the acting is. Oprah Winfrey was able to delineate the depth of Sophia's emotional spectrum quite remarkably and out of the entire cast, she was most able to depict the southern way of speaking and moving. She was a different woman then and she has not achieved this kind of distinction in other roles. Margaret Avery gave a performance of a lifetime as the beloved and equally reviled Shug. Whoopi Goldberg's golden moment came as she spoke, "I got two chirrun........and they's alive." Danny Glover was horrifically great! I could wright a book on the other magnificent performances.
This movie comes as close to a masterpiece as anything I have seen. I watch it again and again. Each time, I feel renewed vigor, love, loss, pain, rejection, joy, familiarity, and at last, survival. The movie could have bestowed much greatness upon the Academy Awards!
Buy two copies because you are sure to strip the original from playing it so much!
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on July 20, 2003
An incredibly inspiring story about faith, hope, injustice and deliverance. This is an artistic masterpiece, lovingly created by Steven Spielberg and Alice Walker.
That this movie did not win a single Academy award of the eleven that it was nominated for (not to mention not even a nomination for Spielberg as best director) was an indication of how corrupt and biased the "Academy" was at that time.
Every detail of this movie is lavishly attended to including the wonderfully brilliant score by Quincy Jones (Miss Celie's Blues (Sister) was co-written with Lionel Richie).
The cinematography is nothing short of spectacular and incredibly imaginative with every scene worthy of freezing and framing. The dove-tailed juxtapositioning of the African scenes to the US scenes are in a creative league that is rarely even comparable to modern movies.
Whoopi Goldberg gives the performance of her life as Celie, a poor black woman that finds inner-strength and salvation after a lifetime of appalling injustices.
Warning: Do not attempt to watch this movie without having a box of tissues nearby! You will need them for the sad scenes as well as the happy ones.
I wish Hollywood would create more movies like this. -Vince Boston
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on June 3, 2003
This is such an incredible story, and there is so many things to say about it, and yet no amount of words can quite convey the artistic beauty in this hidden gem. The matured talents of Speilberg shine through with a story that is multi-layered, strong characters and cinematography that will leave you awestruck.
This poignant drama is based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, and the movie has a lot to live up to. The movie is true to the book's diary format, as the diary is read aloud by the Celie, played by Whoopi Goldberg. This movie gave her her big break, and her performance screams, "Give this woman an award!"
Oprah and Danny Glover also star, and both perform as they never have before (or since!)
Margaret Avery's performance as Shug Avery is also worth mentioning, and it is very memorable and poignant.
This movie is about the value of being true to yourself, long-lasting love, perseverance, dignity and how to survive in the face of suffering, pain and loss.
This movie was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including best picture and actress (supporting players Oprah Winfrey and Margaret Avery were also nominated), and it won none. See the movie and you will experience the injustice of that for yourself!
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