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4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and wistful comedy/fantasy, April 15 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Purple Rose Of Cairo (DVD)
An utterly sweet, inventive and charming film that examines our love
affair with the movies and our need to escape into fantasy. The central
device of the wall breaking down between the characters in a film and
those watching is great fun, and both Mia Farrow and Jeff Daniels do
some of their very best work in this.

That said, for me, it lacks a little of the depth and complexity of my
very favorite Allen films. It's a little too cute and simplistic
in the middle, although the first and last third, and the uncompromised
ending are terrific. It doesn't quite hold up on multiple viewings
the way 'Annie Hall', or 'Crimes and Misdemeanors' or 'Hannah and Her
Sisters' or 'Zelig' do. But even 2nd tier Woody Allen is better than
almost anything else out there. And on a certain level, with great
filmmakers its about personal taste, not right and wrong. (e.g. Is Chapln's
'Modern Times' better than 'City Lights' ?) So, if you like Allen's
work at all and you've never seen this, you owe yourself a look to
decide for yourself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and wistful comedy/fantasy, April 15 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Purple Rose of Cairo 85 (DVD)
An utterly sweet, inventive and charming film that examines our love
affair with the movies and our need to escape into fantasy. The central
device of the wall breaking down between the characters in a film and
those watching is great fun, and both Mia Farrow and Jeff Daniels do
some of their very best work in this.

That said, for me, it lacks a little of the depth and complexity of my
very favorite Allen films. It's a little too cute and simplistic
in the middle, although the first and last third, and the uncompromised
ending are terrific. It doesn't quite hold up on multiple viewings
the way 'Annie Hall', or 'Crimes and Misdemeanors' or 'Hannah and Her
Sisters' or 'Zelig' do. But even 2nd tier Woody Allen is better than
almost anything else out there. And on a certain level, with great
filmmakers its about personal taste, not right and wrong. (e.g. Is Chapln's
'Modern Times' better than 'City Lights' ?) So, if you like Allen's
work at all and you've never seen this, you owe yourself a look to
decide for yourself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and wistful comedy/fantasy, April 15 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Purple Rose of Cairo (Widescreen) (DVD)
An utterly sweet, inventive and charming film that examines our love
affair with the movies and our need to escape into fantasy. The central
device of the wall breaking down between the characters in a film and
those watching is great fun, and both Mia Farrow and Jeff Daniels do
some of their very best work in this.

That said, for me, it lacks a little of the depth and complexity of my
very favorite Allen films. It's a little too cute and simplistic
in the middle, although the first and last third, and the uncompromised
ending are terrific. It doesn't quite hold up on multiple viewings
the way 'Annie Hall', or 'Crimes and Misdemeanors' or 'Hannah and Her
Sisters' or 'Zelig' do. But even 2nd tier Woody Allen is better than
almost anything else out there. And on a certain level, with great
filmmakers its about personal taste, not right and wrong. (e.g. Is Chapln's
'Modern Times' better than 'City Lights' ?) So, if you like Allen's
work at all and you've never seen this, you owe yourself a look to
decide for yourself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love talking to you, Aug. 17 2003
This review is from: Purple Rose of Cairo (Widescreen) (DVD)
"How many times is a man so taken with a woman that he walks off the screen to get her?"
I had to laugh the day I watched this movie. I realized my bed is covered in purple roses. At least, that is the pattern. Who knows, maybe I will run off to Hollywood soon. I think for my whole life I've always had a fictional character living in my mind, that perfect man who is poetic, has a sexy voice and is wildly witty.
Cecilia (Mia Farrow) seems to be dreaming of the same man because had I been in this movie we could have fought over explorer Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels). He is adorable, dreamy and romantic. His innocence, optimism and sense of wonderment is completely cute. He is present, intelligent, passionate, takes life with a dose of humor and is willing to fight for what he wants. He also loves talking to Cecilia and she can barely stop herself from fainting in his presence. She is overwhelmed when she realizes her fantasy exists.
Ok, so he is fictional and as Cecilia would say: "He's fictional, but you can't have everything."
Cecilia is trapped washing dishes in a diner, while she would rather be dreaming. She is beautiful, open to possibilities, willing to trust a man who shows her loving direction and has a healthy radiance. When she is not working or dealing with her verbally abusive husband (Danny Aiello), she spends all her free time escaping vicariously into the characters lives at the Jewel Movie Theater.
Her life is filled with hardship, while the characters onscreen live in luxury. Her husband is verbally abusive and even hits her when she gets out of line. She dreams of being with a romantic character and the thought that she will actually talk to a real-life movie star seems to be her wildest fantasy.
Cecilia is a good example of a woman with low self-esteem who is very intimidated by her husband. One day while watching "The Purple Rose of Cairo," one of the characters notices she has been watching his movie over and over again. He is so impressed, he decides to step right out of the movie and meet her. It is the stuff of fantasy!
Not only does he want to marry her almost the minute he sees her, he defends her and romances her beyond anything she could ever imagine. She is literally transfixed by his idealistic, poetic nature. That is until the real-life actor Gil Shepherd appears.
There has never been a movie that so captivated me and amused me to the core. I loved the original ideas, fantasy characters, the movie characters talking to the audience and the comedic timing is beyond perfect. Some scenes are so completely eccentric, the hilarity factor bubbles over like champagne. I was still laughing at the same jokes while watching this movie the seventh time in two days!
One is left wondering: "Are there any other guys like Tom out there?" I think there might be one left, somewhere on the earth. This movie is hilarious, short, sweet, innocent and maybe even a little sad. We are never sure if Cecilia continues to think of her inner world as a fantasy mansion or if she starts to see the sunsets in her real world and finds the real man of her dreams.
As David Deida would say: "We must see that we are afraid of the thing we most desire, and so we live a mediocre life, never bringing to consummation the primary impulse of our heart."
A movie to make you think about how you are living your life and what you would change in your life if you could "really" escape into the fantasy of your dreams. You are left thinking that perhaps you could dream a fantasy into life.
~The Rebecca Review.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good As It Gets, June 19 2003
By 
sweetmolly (RICHMOND, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Purple Rose of Cairo (Widescreen) (DVD)
Take a Woody Allen movie where Woody politely stays BEHIND the camera. Add a perfectly cast Mia Farrow as a waif-like dreamer of a girl, living in the grinding poverty of the 1930's Depression and married to an blustering, brutal man. Top it off with a brilliant dual performance by Jeff Daniels who is a cinematic film hero who steps out of the screen and the actor who plays this hooky playing fictional character.
Cecilia (Mia Farrow) works as a waitress (on the verge of being fired). Her life is grim, living in a tenement with her no-account husband (Danny Aiello). Her one pleasure is the movies that she attends daily. Her favorite is "The Purple Rose of Cairo," and the explorer character "Tom Baxter" brings radiance to her eyes that never leave him. After multiple viewings, one day "Tom" falters in his lines, seems distracted, then steps out of the film and joins Cecilia in the audience. The cast and audience are suitably stunned; the cast enjoining him to get back on the screen so they can finish the movie, and the audience grumbling they didn't pay good money to watch the cast arguing among themselves. "Tom" is resolute, and out they walk, he in his pith helmet and explorer togs, Cecilia radiant. The movie industry is appalled. They worried about litigation and insurrection if characters start walking off the screen. Gil Shepard, the actor who played"Tom" is sent to the scene to talk "Tom" into getting back onscreen where he belongs. "Tom" clearly is innocent of what the "real" (as opposed to "reel") world is about. He is in love with Cecilia and she allows that he "is the perfect man. Of course, he's fictional." Real life "Gil," Tom, and Cecilia meet. The ending is surprisingly intense.
Jeff Daniels is dazzling as Gil/Tom. He handles both roles to perfection. The interaction among Daniels, Farrow, and Aiello is flawless. Much as I wanted to thoroughly despise Aiello as the low-life husband, he managed to make me laugh and feel sorry for him with his bravado performance. All the jokes and humor work in "The Purple Rose of Cairo," which isn't the case in many Allen movies. I believe this is Woody Allen's valentine to his beloved movies. It couldn't be better. Even if you are a dedicated Allenophobe, see this movie. You won't be disappointed.
-sweetmolly-Amazon Reviewer
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good As It Gets, June 19 2003
By 
sweetmolly (RICHMOND, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Purple Rose of Cairo (Widescreen) (DVD)
Take a Woody Allen movie where Woody politely stays BEHIND the camera. Add a perfectly cast Mia Farrow as a waif-like dreamer of a girl, living in the grinding poverty of the 1930's Depression and married to an blustering, brutal man. Top it off with a brilliant dual performance by Jeff Daniels who is a cinematic film hero who steps out of the screen and the actor who plays this hooky playing fictional character.
Cecilia (Mia Farrow) works as a waitress (on the verge of being fired). Her life is grim, living in a tenement with her no-account husband (Danny Aiello). Her one pleasure is the movies that she attends daily. Her favorite is "The Purple Rose of Cairo," and the explorer character "Tom Baxter" brings radiance to her eyes that never leave him. After multiple viewings, one day "Tom" falters in his lines, seems distracted, then steps out of the film and joins Cecilia in the audience. The cast and audience are suitably stunned; the cast enjoining him to get back on the screen so they can finish the movie, and the audience grumbling they didn't pay good money to watch the cast arguing among themselves. "Tom" is resolute, and out they walk, he in his pith helmet and explorer togs, Cecilia radiant. The movie industry is appalled worried about litigation and insurrection if characters start walking off the screen. Gil Shepard, the actor who played"Tom" is sent to the scene to talk "Tom" into getting back onscreen where he belongs. "Tom" clearly is innocent of what the "real" (as opposed to "reel") world is about. He is in love with Cecilia and she allows that he "is the perfect man. Of course, he's fictional." Real life "Gil," Tom, and Cecilia meet. The ending is surprisingly intense.
Jeff Daniels is dazzling as Gil/Tom. He handles both roles to perfection. The interaction among Daniels, Farrow, and Aiello is flawless. Much as I wanted to thoroughly despise Aiello as the low-life husband, he managed to make me laugh and feel sorry for him with his bravado performance. All the jokes and humor work in "The Purple Rose of Cairo," which isn't the case in many Allen movies. I believe this is Woody Allen's valentine to his beloved movies. It couldn't be better. Even if you are a dedicated Allenophobe, see this movie. You won't be disappointed.
-sweetmolly-Amazon Reviewer
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Woody's best, March 27 2002
By 
R. Geatz (Washington, DC USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Purple Rose of Cairo (Widescreen) (DVD)
Woody Allen has long admired the works of both Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini, and while he has done other movies that intentionally (and not very successfully, in my opinion) mimic those two great directors, I think "Purple Rose of Cairo" is his better homage to Fellini. He captures the same poignant combination of humor and pathos as Fellini does in his earlier masterpieces "La Strada" and "Nights of Cabiria." In fact, the concluding scene of Cecilia (Mia Farrow) staring at the movie screen, her eyes transforming from despair to hope (as her life has just gone down the toilet) is a mirror of the concluding scene in Fellini's "Cabiria." This is also Allen's most loving tribute to "the movies." Movies allow us to escape to a better world and--at least temporarily--to escape our selves. The cast is great--especially the wonderful supporting characters who seem right out of the Depression era, as are those who play the movie characters who get stranded on-screen when one of their colleagues steps out into the real world. While this may not be one of Woody Allen's most popular films, it is a near-perfect little gem.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Why we love the movies, Nov. 8 2001
This review is from: Purple Rose of Cairo (Widescreen) (DVD)
Cecilia goes to the movies night after night, to escape her dreary life, and sees The Purple Rose of Cairo over and over. Each time, we pick up little scenes from the movie that is unfolding within the movie. Imagine the surprise, when a scene we've watched before isn't quite right. The Tom Baxter character seems distracted. Is it possible he just glanced out into the audience?
This is exactly what Tom Baxter does, as he's noticed Ceclia watching the movie night after night. We watch as he starts speaking to her as she sits in her theater seat and eventually he jumps down off of the screen to the surprise of the audience and the cast of the Purple Rose of Cairo.
The comedy is great, as the movie cast can't proceed without Tom. They start to bicker amongst themselves and even take out their frustration on the audience..."You think you've got problems? We've got problems of our own!" Tom and Ceclia begin an offscreen adventure that makes clever use of the fact that Tom isn't actually a real person. There are plenty of gags and some great lines, particularly when Cecila proclaims that she's finally met the perfect man, "although he is fictional."
This is one of my favorite Allen films that doesn't actually star Allen. I'm happy that this movie, along with Hannah and Her Sisters, Broadway Danny Rose and Play it again Sam, have finally been released on DVD. This is a typical no-frills MGM release, with the movie in widescreen format, the theatrical trailer, and optional subtitles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Woody Allen's most Unique Film, Nov. 18 2001
By 
GLENN WHELAN (Winter Park, FL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Purple Rose of Cairo (Widescreen) (DVD)
THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO lacks both the ultra-serious disciplines of his drama's and is also without the hypochondriac cynical New Yorker (usually played by Allen himself.) And if you remove all the films that contain those elements from his ouevere, you are left with the wonderful PURPLE ROSE. The depression serves as the backdrop for a brow-beaten woman's dreamlike story, swept away into the life os a movie character. Allen cleverly balances filmmaking in-jokes, with excellent characterizations, fanaticism and Hollywood in general. this is one of the few movies were none of the jokes fall flat. Includes a wonderfully heartbreaking ending. Thank you Woody. Comes in a much deserved widescreen format with an addictive musical score by Dick Hyman that sounds great. Part of the excellent Woodyt Allen 3rd box set.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What an original film!, May 1 2002
By 
Leonard L. Riggs Jr. (Christopher, Il United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Purple Rose of Cairo (Widescreen) (DVD)
I hadn't seen this movie since 1985 when it first came out and was excited to find it on DVD and it was a great as I remembered! This is an original fantasy that is a lot of fun. Mia Farrow is charming as Cecilia, a woman in the depression era who is addicted to movies. Jeff Daniels plays the character from the movie "The Purple Rose of Cairo" whom she fantasizes about. The fun begins when Jeff Daniels character walks off the screen and into Cecilia's life.....but reality soon sets in when the REAL actor gets wind that his character has walked off the screen.....the movie is simply wonderful and forgoes the typical happy ending....favoring REALITY over fantasy. Watch it you won't be disappointed. Even if you don't care for Woody Allen movies, I know you'll love this one!
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Purple Rose of Cairo (Widescreen)
Purple Rose of Cairo (Widescreen) by Woody Allen (DVD - 2003)
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