The Color Purple (1985)
February 6, 2023 12:10 PM - Subscribe

An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry. After Celie's abusive father marries her off to the equally debasing "Mister" Albert Johnson (Danny Glover), things go from bad to worse, leaving Celie to find companionship anywhere she can. She perseveres, holding on to her dream of one day being reunited with her sister in Africa. Based on the novel by Alice Walker.

Also starring Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, Willard E. Pugh, Akosua Busia, Desreta Jackson, Adolph Caesar, Rae Dawn Chong, Dana Ivey, Leonard Jackson, Bennet Guillory, John Patton Jr., Carl Anderson, Susan Beaubian, James Tillis, Phillip Strong, Laurence Fishburne, Gayle King.

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Screenplay by Menno Meyjes. Based on The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones. Cinematography by Allen Daviau. Edited by Michael Kahn. Music by Quincy Jones.

77% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total)
Alice Walker has become... a complicated person the last few years.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:11 PM on February 6

This is one movie that always makes me cry.
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:26 PM on February 6

I treasure this film. It was blunt about the destruction of rape and the trauma of family separation. It was pivotal for helping people I love dearly find a path to talk about their experiences at a time when it was locked away.

The ending with the clapping game in the field makes me misty-eyed just thinking about it.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:02 PM on February 6

Whoopi Goldberg was fantastic in this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:57 AM on February 7

I followed this one up with Amistad a few evenings later. That was... a tough week.
posted by Molesome at 12:55 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]

This movie is really good, and special, but the book is (I have to say it) great, and magical. In the book, Celie and Shug's relationship is much more fleshed out- it's a full on sexual and romantic, serious relationship, which the movie doesn't really depict. I guess this was a sign of the times? But really, it's Celie's relationship with Shug that helps her to heal from sexual trauma and love herself.

There's also a lot more nuance to her relationship with Mr. ___ in the book; towards the end, they have kind of a reckoning and become friends of sorts. But not in a cheesy way.

If you like the movie, definitely check out the book! (both are worthwhile)

Also, it's really distressing to read about Alice Walker's apparent current anti-semitic views. Especially given that her daughter's father is Jewish (her daughter, Rebecca Walker, wrote a memoir called "Black, White, and Jewish"). In college, I read essays by Alice Walker, who was at the forefront of the feminist/womanist movement, she was an activist, and was so progressive.
posted by bearette at 9:39 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]

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