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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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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 May 25, 2003
I just bought the Color Purple Special Edition DVD even though I already own the Original release on DVD because I wanted to see the Special features added in this new edition. Although I throughly enjoyed these documentaries, upon hearing Speilberg mention a 6 minute reconcilliation scene between Celie & Mister that was to be placed at the end of the film, I cant help but wonder WHY wasnt this missing scene added to this Special Edition? Instead of a photo gallery of snap shots from the film as a "Special Feature", why not show Color Purple fans some Deleted scenes like the one mentioned above? It Angers me when the studios Rerelease an already released DVD with Special Features to make you buy a 2nd copy and STILL leave certain things (like deleted scenes in this case) out so that they can re-RErelease it as an "Ultimate collection"( Heard about the RErelease of the ALIEN saga set yet?) or sometimes not at all.The next DVD Special edition Im waiting on is for Titanic where there was over 3 hours of the film cut from the original release. When & if they do release a Titanic Special Edition, I hope they will SHOW us everything they mention & not replace what the viewer would TRULY enjoy by a snapshot photo album.
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on February 24, 2003
The second DVD has 4 documentaries, which are essentially one documentary. That is, the footage from all four documentaries is culled from the same interview material, and divided into special topics. They're divided up into three approx. thirty minute documentaries, and one approx. seventeen minute documentary. That's not a complaint, just a clarification. One complaint I do have is that Speilberg mentioned in one of the shorts that he had indeed shot the "resolution" scene between Celie and Mister (he mentioned it was six minutes long) but decided not to include it in the film. To be a "Deluxe" edition, it would have been nice to have some deleted scenes included, particularly this one. I felt a little frustrated with that. It was however very nice to see footage of people like Akosua Busia and Margaret Avery, whom I've never seen interviewed about the movie, as well as seeing Alice Walker herself. Also highly recommneded on that note is her book "The Same River Twice", a terrific memoir but especially insightful for fans of the film (it includes Walker's own version of the screenplay). It was particularly nice to hear her speak of (and see pictures of) her relatives- the inspiration for the film. All in all, this edition is great for fans of the film, even if it seems there could have been a little more in the area of "extras." And if you don't already own the movie on DVD, this is a great choice, the minimal difference in price is worth the insight provided by the additional stuff.
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on September 3, 2002
Having been born and raised in the South, I've seen firsthand the injustices heaped on the black population. My father, who passed away a few years ago was raised on the farm in South Carolina and testified that the black population was an unfortunate breed of humanity, void without consience or reason and deserved total disclipine. In 1985, when the movie came out, my parents felt that the world will cease to exist as we know it. What they DID'NT know was that THE COLOR PURPLE was directed by Steven Spielberg, a white man and one of my parent's favorite directors. When it came out on video, I, on impulse decided to rent it and see what the hulabaloo was all about. After 2+ hours of raw emotion, I decided to tell my parents about this movie. I rented it again and took it to my parent's house. Picture this: My parents, friends and relatives thought I should have been tied up and sent to Happy Acres. I told them to humor me and watch it. The hardest hit was my father. He went out to the video store the next day and bought it and watched it over and over again. He was a changed man. I know this is way overdue, but I applaud Steven Spielberg for having the courage to direct this movie in spite of its unpopular themes. This movie is a classic for all time. It ranks up there with Gone With The Wind. I can't watch the end of this movie without being cynical. At every viewing, it's like watching it the first time. A classic.
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on March 11, 2000
This is the best movie I have ever seen. Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Danny Gover are magnificent, and the supporting cast does an equally impressive job. On an artistic level the film is wonderful, but its emotional effectiveness (a rare combination of rawness and innocence) is indescribable. I first saw The Color Purple when I was 11 (I'm 16 now). I live in rural Louisiana, where despite major advances in American society in general, violent racism thrives. I honestly believe that if I had not seen this film, I might have become one of those men whose only joy is hatred. I remember vividly the exact moment I abandoned racism (and many other prejudices) and became a better person: the scene in which Sophia is attacked outside the store. She'd just been hit in the head, and as she lay on the ground the wind blew her dress over her head, exposing her underwear. I am crying right now remembering that moment, that stripping away of dignity... The movie is beautiful, simple, and powerful. Don't be afraid to let children watch it, because sometimes children's lives can be changed too.
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on January 19, 2003
By turns devastating and uplifting, Steve Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is one of those rare films that effectively captures and builds on the book's underlying themes and moods. Epic and grand in its exectution, "The Color Purple" is accessible to viewers of any race and is no more an "african-american" film than "Gone With the Wind" was a "southern" film. The themes presented here - tolerance, integration, poverty, aspiration and assimilation - are universal and real and Spielberg delivers a potent mix of superb film technique, a well-crafted plot and simply said, breakthtakingly heartfelt performances from an all-star cast.
Whoopie Goldberg earned an Oscar nod for her amazing performance as Celie, literally transforming herself from the stand-up comedienne we all know and love into a sensitive woman-child whose life is a mix of tragedy and triumph. Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey are bookends in Celie's life - they embody their characters fully and in doing so, complete a triad of powerful women coping with fear, loss and repression that testify to the unique challenges women, and especially women of color, face even today. Very few films deserve to be classified as required viewing for all - "Schindler's List" "Birth of a Nation" are two that come to mind - and "The Color Purple" is one of them. Filled with raw dramatic power and awe-inspiring humanity, "The Color Purple" is a film for the ages. Read the book and watch the film to see how great film adaptations are done!
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on January 3, 2000
Despite the ever so popular view that the film is a condemnation of black men I (a black male) have to disagree. What the film so adeptly demonstrates is the very harsh realities that far too many women (black women in particular) have had to endure for far too long in a male dominated society. The strength of all of the female characters is indominatable. That being said we should not forget how important racism was in creating the attitudes of black males then as today. That doesn't excuse the behavior nor eliminate the responsibility for the acts but it does however help to explain them.
Spielberg's direction is better (in my opinion) in this film than in any other film of his career (Schindler's List) included. For him not to have received the Oscar as best director and for this film to have been denied the Best Picture award is one of many great injustices perpertrated by the ... hollywood establishment. The most dramatic (not emotional mind you) scene in the movie is when Celie is getting ready to shave Mister at the same time as her son is undertaking his ritual and Shug has intuition about Celie's murderous intent. Absolutely flawless. The music was perfect as it built in intensity.
You'll laugh, cry, think and be entertained. What more could you ask for.
Whoopi Goldberg is one of the best dramatic actresses I think i've ever seen. The same can't be said for her less than comedic talents. Oprah and Margeret Avery were outstanding and so deftly contrast Whoopi's performance and underscore the many different indignities suffered by all of the women albeit in different ways.
It ultimately is a triumph of the human spirit.
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