The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
November 1, 2022 2:23 PM - Subscribe

Unhappily married Depression-era waitress Cecilia (Mia Farrow) earns the money while her inattentive husband, Monk (Danny Aiello), blows their meager income on getting drunk and gambling. To assuage her loneliness, Cecilia escapes to the picture show and becomes transfixed with the movie "The Purple Rose of Cairo," and especially with its lead character, archeologist Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels). When Tom literally steps off of the screen and into her life, both realities are thrown into chaos.

Also starring Dianne Wiest, Van Johnson, Zoe Caldwell, John Wood, Milo O'Shea, Deborah Rush.

Written and directed by Woody Allen.

93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Paramount Plus, Hoopla, Tubi, Kanopy, and Epix. JustWatch listing.

Today, I'm going to post a bunch of movies that are probelmatic and/or made by/starring problematic people, but also either: have merit/are acclaimed; won some awards; are very popular; have a certain amount of cultural cachet. I'll be tagging these #problematicmovies.

In this case... well, it's Woody Allen.
posted by DirtyOldTown (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had a Betamax version of this when I was in middle school and I watched it over and over. I think it was the first time I really encountered something with a sad/hopeless ending. The quality of the writing and acting is very high, and the story is inventive and entertaining, but I think what really captured me was seeing something that represented the world as I experienced it (often disappointing and difficult).

This was my Official Favorite Movie for many years.

I have a secondhand dvd of it but I’m a little afraid to go back to it.
posted by jeoc at 6:40 PM on November 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

I love this movie. Allen has said this movie is about the feeling of walking out of a matinee and as a cinephile I understand that feeling well. But that ending is just heartbreaking.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:00 PM on November 1, 2022

I think Allen's films of the early 80s are probably his best, or at least the ones I like most, which I realise isn't the same thing. I've not seen very many of his films since 1990, if only because the extent to which the ones I did see don't match up to this era is more dispiriting than not seeing them at all. That's quite apart from Everything Else. But the triumvirate for me are this, Zelig and Radio Days.
posted by Grangousier at 12:46 PM on November 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

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