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  • The Color Purple (Special Edition) [DVD] [1986]
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The Color Purple (Special Edition) [DVD] [1986]

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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: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 21 July 2003
  • Run Time: 148 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009PBHU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,584 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Stephen Spielberg directed this adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer prize-winning novel, which spans 40 years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), a poor black woman who endures years of abuse from her father and her husband (Danny Glover). When her husband embarks on an affair with beautiful Shug (Margaret Avery), friendship also springs up between the two women, and Celie finally begins to blossom.


Steven Spielberg took a melodramatic DW Griffith-inspired approach to filming Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple. 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 The Color Purple won none. --Jim Emerson,

On the DVD: The Color Purple makes a sumptuous transfer to DVD in this special edition. The lush and vibrant cinematography is well served by the widescreen format; Quincy Jones's warmly enveloping score, shot through with jazz age references, is superbly enhanced by surround sound. The extras are ideal companions to the main picture, detailing the passage of Alice Walker's novel from book to screen. Walker herself recalls the anxieties of the process, while director Spielberg and various cast members remember many poignant moments during and after filming, reminding us with a jolt that this beautifully made, hugely popular and inspirational film didn't win a single Academy Award. --Piers Ford

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 2004
Format: DVD
"What do you want for mother's day?" was the question that started it. My mum answered to try and get her The Color purple on DVD. I did and I think I'm a bigger fan than her and she loves it!
The film centres around a young woman named celie played by the fanatstic Whoopi Goldberg. Celie is bullied all her life, by her step father and husband...even her own kids. Her life is miserable. the only thing that brightens it up is the bond of love she has for her sister. But, "Mr" her husband breaks that bond and Celie doesn't see Naide for many many years. There seems to be no hope for her.
The film tells the story of Celie's life from her second born child (who later is adopted despite celie's determination to keep her). Her marriage is a nightmare and we feel real sympathy for her downtrodden character and anger towards her husband (played very well by Danny Glover) It's not all doom and gloom however, as Oprah Winfrey makes a memorable appearance as Sophia, wife of Celie's step son Harpo. Don't mess with Sophia is all I can say. And DON'T call her a heffer! Celie takes solice in her friendship with her husband's mistress Shug Avery. Shug tries to coax a more confident Celie out of what she sees. Celie's only hope in life is that one day, she might see Nadie again.
This film isn't just full of the color purple, it screams with brightness and hope. The music is outstanding including the parallels drawn between America and Africa. The soundtrack had everything...lazy music which suggests the hot days on Mr's farm and the music of the African safari. There is also a strong gospel theme with some uplifting music to partner the hope of the film. A lot of characters have inner demons to fight: Shug, Celie, Sophia, Harpo...even Mr. As to who conqurs those demons I won't say.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By christopher on 9 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD
Not being a very big spielberg fan (shock)i was roped into watching this so called "womans" film with a friend of mine i was very sceptical about the film subject and some of the actors and actresses playing the roles. However it was one of the best film experiences i have encountered moving in some places and harrowing in others spielberg has delivered an absolute classic which touches the heart and handles the difficult subject matter with care and precision.whoopi goldberg gives an outstanding peformance and was well worthy of her oscar nomination and was very unlucky not to win it.Add a very good danny glover and a fantastic performance by oprah winfrey and you have a great modern day classic. exceptional movie, exceptional acting,exceptional viewing .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I. Thomson on 13 Mar. 2007
Format: DVD
Celie is a young girl who has a tough life in Georgia, pregnant at 14 with her father's child; the death of her mother and being sold off in a forced marriage with Mr. (who in the film is given the first name, Albert). She yearns for a better life and has nobody in the whole world-expect her sister, Nettie-who truly believes in her........

The Color Purple was actually a big hit at the box office when originally released in 1985 and at least set to win the top prize at the academy awards-the best picture had it not been for a controversial backlash. Sadly, this has been dug in the ground and forgotten about.

Although the book we know acts as a diary for Celie's frustation against the world, only some of her letters remain in the cut (even though a voice over is heard for the majority of the film where the other times, the action is visual) which includes the death of her mother; being sold off to Mr and her times with Shug Avery.

Spielberg treats the material very carefully, adding his unique magic (although sometimes it is notable that it becomes uncomfortable and a tad ridiculous) heartbreak of their lives desperate to live seperate identites. There is a lot of material that is cut from this adaption that includes Nettie's missionary time in a greater light; acknowliding Celie's sexuality (expect for some clues that are still apparent), her relationship with Shug and forgiveness with Mr.

Spielberg tries his best to make this film accessible for the sort that may never read the book or find it too hard-going and depressing which at times it can become.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By coronaurora on 24 Aug. 2004
Format: DVD
Watching Color Purple is indulging yourself in cinema at its charming best-- lovable, well-rounded, deeply emotional and very grounding. Yes, the characters are as stereotypical as stereotypical can be, and there's a lot of theatrical-isque role-play; but what matters the most is that the film's got its heart in the right place and that's what makes it so imminently watchable.
Spielberg's direction is top-notch as he extracts some of the most inspiring performances from the whole cast. Right from Whoopi's Goldberg sympathetic Celie to Oprah Winfrey's riotous Sofia to Danny Glover's menacing Albert to Margaret Avery's sensuous Shug to Akosua's earthy Nettie... every character's given ample time and space to develop and register an impact, and that's precisely what they do. Of all the threads that revolve around the debauched status of women --- domestic violence, girl infanticide, illiteracy, forced marriages, racism-- what emerges as an absolute winner is the no-holds-barred love of the two sisters-- Celie and Nettie.
What also works for the film is its makers' dedication to set it up in all the rusticity, all the wilderness and rawness of down South and Africa --- the cinematography and the background music is so perfect and so timeless, it doesn't feel a bit dated. The film's an absolute family entertainment (though some scenes can be rather too raw and graphical for teeny-weenies) and its message of love, sacrifice, sincerity and honesty redeeming even the ugliest of existences; of realising one's inside beauty and confidence is really strengthening. Its a yarn well spun and with something so pure, its really hard to find fault with. Maybe the whopping 2.5 hours somewhat blunt the overall effect, but the leisurely mood and the numerous endearing characters keep the tension factor much low and subtle.
Give this one a try... rest assured you'll find yourself laughing and crying with the colourful characters!
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