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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
22

TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 30, 2015
One of Woody Allen's very best scripts, played by excellent actors. Their performances are very believable, which helps suspend disbelief. Michael Keaton was originally cast to play the male lead, but Woody Allen changed his mind and replaced him with Jeff Daniels, which I think was wise. Mia Farrow plays the victim-wife very well, she also plays the daydreamer to perfection. Maybe she was type-cast? LOL Only W. Allen knows.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 15, 2011
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 15, 2011
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 15, 2011
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 15, 2011
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 15, 2011
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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on May 1, 2002
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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on June 19, 2003
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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on June 19, 2003
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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on November 8, 2001
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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