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The Color Purple (1985)

Danny Glover , Whoopi Goldberg , Steven Spielberg  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (502 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.96
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Product Details

  • Actors: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery, Willard E. Pugh
  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Writers: Alice Walker, Menno Meyjes
  • Producers: Carole Isenberg, Frank Marshall, Jon Peters, Kathleen Kennedy, Peter Guber
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 1997
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (502 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790729717
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,150 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Color Purple" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Steven Spielberg, proving he's one of the few modern filmmakers who has the visual fluency to be capable of making a great silent film, took a melodramatic, D.W. Griffith-inspired approach to filming Alice Walker's novel. His tactics made the film controversial, but also a popular hit. You can argue with the appropriateness of Spielberg's decision, but his astonishing facility with images is undeniable--from the exhilarating and eye-popping opening shots of children playing in paradisiacal purple fields to the way he conveys the brutality of a rape by showing hanging leather belts banging against the head of the shaking bed. In a way it's a shame that Whoopi Goldberg, a stage monologist who made her screen debut in this movie, went on to become so famous, because it was, in part, her unfamiliarity that made her understated performance as Celie so effective. (This may be the first and last time that the adjective understated can be applied to Goldberg.) Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including best picture and actress (supporting players Oprah Winfrey and Margaret Avery were also nominated), it was quite a scandal--and a crushing blow to Spielberg--when it won none. --Jim Emerson

Product Description

Steven Spielberg, proving he's one of the few modern filmmakers who has the visual fluency to be capable of making a great silent film, took a melodramatic, D.W. Griffith-inspired approach to filming Alice Walker's novel. His tactics made the film controv

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
131 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power to change minds... March 11, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
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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130 of 138 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Miss Celie, I Feels Like Singin'!" November 21, 1999
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I just bought this disc and watched it last night. I bawled my eyes out. I haven't seen it in many years and had forgotten what an incredible film it is. I gave it only 4 stars because of what many other reviewers have said about the DVD -- it's not double-layered and requires a "flip" right after Celie and Shug kiss.
I was particularly moved by Oprah Winfrey's performance. We all know her as OPRAH now. I'd forgotten how amazing she was in COLOR PURPLE.
I think if Spielberg made this movie today he might not shy away from some of the heavier themes like he did in 1985. But his filmmaking technique was incredible for this film. It plays like an old-fashioned Hollywood movie. The colors are gorgeous. (How did they get all those perfectly purple flowers in that field ? ) The camera work is exciting.
Everyone has their "crying" moments in COLOR PURPLE. These are mine: 1. The breakup of the sisters ("Ain't no mountain, ain't no sea..."). 2. Celie gets the letter ("I got two children..."). 3. God's Tryin To Tell You Something ("See daddy, even singers got soul") and, of course, 4. The end.
It's about life. It's about love. It's about us. Thank you Alice Walker, Steven Spielberg, and Whoopi.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Color Me Pleased February 24, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Having just watched the two-disc "Special Edition" of COLOR PURPLE this weekend, I believe this newer version has outdone the original single-disc dvd that was released in 1999 (which you had to flip over halfway through in order to see the second half of the film.)
The second disc of this "Special Edition" contains several excellent documentaries about the making of COLOR PURPLE. Most refreshing is Alice Walker herself, who is wise and thoughtful about the movie-making aspect of her Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Steven Spielberg has some reflectful things to say as well - he admits to his own limitations in filming the Shug/Celie love scene. (Alice Walker calls the scene "sweet").
Oprah appears looking glamorous and very different from her mid-80's self. As she tells the story of how she won the part of Sophia, one cannot help but be moved. Whoopie Goldberg, too, is very humble about the process of winning then filming the role of Celie.
It's wonderful to see the new interviews with the cast (Margaret Avery looks incredible!) - and shocking that COLOR PURPLE did not win in any of the categories it was nominated for at the Academy Awards. I always thought that Akosua Busia gave an incredible performance as Nettie - did you know she shares a screenwriting credit on Winfrey's BELOVED?
Watching the film again was a wonderful experience. The dvd looks incredible and sounds great - no complaints there. (It is dual-layered, so it is not necessary to flip the disc any more!) Spielberg can still tug my heartstrings with this movie. I cry on cue at several scenes. His direction and the actors' performances are truly wonderful. My only qualm is that THE COLOR PURPLE is an old-fashioned film in style. It is more like GONE WITH THE WIND than BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top 3 films of all time! January 3, 2000
Format:DVD
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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Why can't I download The Color Purple
Guess not. I've been going nuts trying to find it. Happy to pay for it also. Instead, Amazon is happy to provide a link that makes you think you might get it, but after giving personal info the answer is still no. I guess Hollywood does not want consumers to be able to PAY for this great film.
Feb 21, 2013 by Leigh Deacon |  See all 2 posts
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