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The Purple Rose of Cairo (1984)

Mia Farrow , Jeff Daniels , Woody Allen  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

Price: $33.97 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello, Irving Metzman, Stephanie Farrow
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Gail Sicilia, Jack Rollins, Michael Peyser, Robert Greenhut
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O06L
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,018 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Purple Rose of Cairo" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

One of the high points of Woody Allen's career. Cecilia (Mia Farrow), a depression-era waitress married to a brutish husband (Danny Aiello), finds her only escape at the movies, her current favorite being a light comedy about an explorer among socialites, called The Purple Rose of Cairo. She sees it so many times that the main character, Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels), falls in love with her and steps off the screen to woo her. When news of this gets back to the movie studio, the producers send the actor who played Baxter (also Daniels) to convince Baxter to get back on the screen. The script is one of Allen's funniest, but underlying the whole story is a current of sadness that gives the movie's ending a surprising impact. Allen himself considers The Purple Rose of Cairo to be his personal favorite of his own films. A gem. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good As It Gets 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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Woody's best March 27, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Woody Allen has long admired the works of both Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini, and while he has done other movies that intentionally (and not very successfully, in my opinion) mimic those two great directors, I think "Purple Rose of Cairo" is his better homage to Fellini. He captures the same poignant combination of humor and pathos as Fellini does in his earlier masterpieces "La Strada" and "Nights of Cabiria." In fact, the concluding scene of Cecilia (Mia Farrow) staring at the movie screen, her eyes transforming from despair to hope (as her life has just gone down the toilet) is a mirror of the concluding scene in Fellini's "Cabiria." This is also Allen's most loving tribute to "the movies." Movies allow us to escape to a better world and--at least temporarily--to escape our selves. The cast is great--especially the wonderful supporting characters who seem right out of the Depression era, as are those who play the movie characters who get stranded on-screen when one of their colleagues steps out into the real world. While this may not be one of Woody Allen's most popular films, it is a near-perfect little gem.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an original film! May 2, 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Mr. Allen December 24, 2001
By A Customer
Every element from humor to heartbreak make this ingenious film one of the best ever. Mia Farrow gives us both giddy childishness and unspeakable sadness in what is surely one of her best performances. I am not an Allen fan per se and was surprised at the emotional impact this had on me when it was released back in the 80's. I must have seen it 5 or 6 times and was grateful that Allen sat this one out in terms of acting.
The cast is superb and it emphasizes just how the cinema has long been the escape from a world that can be unbearably cruel.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite Woody Allen films, by far! December 4, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
"The Purple Rose of Cairo" is one of those rare films whose concept is intriguing as the end product. "Rose" is witty, thoughtful, masterfully directed and acted, and, for once, we get a chance to enjoy Woody Allen's great talent as a skillful director, without his setting foot on the screen (not even in a cameo--like Alfred Hitchcock did in all of his films).

Cecilia (Mia Farrow), is a waitress at a diner, during a time in the 1920s when the Great Depression has set in, times are tough, jobs are scarce and the people are looking for an escape. What better way to seek a diversion than in a movie theatre, where one can live a life of romance, comedy, drama and adventure, vicariously through the larger-than-life actors on the projecting screen?

Cecilia's all-consuming passion for films is her one refuge from the grim life she has built with her abusive, philandering husband (Danny Aiello). One of her favorite films, by far, is "The Purple Rose of Cairo." When she likes a film she will see it over and over again, almost nightly. Furthermore, when she isn't in the movie theatre watching the film she knows almost line-for-line, she discusses the plot and the smoldering actors with her co-workers. Cecilia may have stepped away from the fantasy of the silver screen, once the picture has ended, but it lives on in her heart long afterwards.

One night, when she goes to "The Purple Rose of Cairo" for the upteenth time, the adventuresome and brawny Tom Baxter, the romantic lead (Jeff Daniels), sees the starstruck Cecilia sitting alone in the theatre, and literally steps off of the screen to be with this mysterious and beautiful woman whose life revolves around films and melding life on screen with life in the day-to-day world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars woody allen perfection
perfect for film buffs, and how movies lure you in their fantasy worlds
Published 1 day ago by Donna Marmor
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
We saw this movie in the eighties and enjoyed it even more this time around.
Published 6 days ago by Robert H Sisson
1.0 out of 5 stars I received an unplayable DVD
I live in the United States and I have bought dozens of DVDs from Amazon that play just fine. But this one is coded for Region 2 and explicitly states, on the back of the DVD,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Loomis
2.0 out of 5 stars clever idea for a plot but did not deliver
without jeff daniels (who had to act two different identities of the same character), i would have given it just 1 star.
Published 4 months ago by groundie
4.0 out of 5 stars quirky
Yes this is Woody Allen to a 'T'. If you enjoy his work, you'll love this. It did show how ordinary people make choices in their lives that result in happiness or sadness for their... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ode to Classic Film
Purchased at

Woody Allen's best along with Radio Days. A disenchanted housewife escapes to the cinema and the characters come to marvelous life. Read more
Published 5 months ago by H. Fenton
3.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE WOODY ALLEN SO MUCH but...
But this was pretty cheestastic.

Midnight in Paris is by far one of my all time favorite movies and this was said to be an earlier version of it from him...not true. Read more
Published 5 months ago by theaterandfilm
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie
An amazing movie very original and very well performed Woody Allen is just a genius with this movie! Highly recomended!
Published 6 months ago by Carolina B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic Woody Allen style film
I had a friend recommend this to me. The concept is really neat and it's got a good mix of humor and thoughtfulness.
Published 7 months ago by Sam Hankins
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Satire on Hollywood
An exceptional play on the reality principle in cinema. As well as a clear representation of how the downtrodden (all of us! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Tom Sobchack
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