The Purple Rose Of Cairo 1985

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(23) IMDb 7.8/10
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Woody Allen blurs the the boundaries between the real and unreal in this unique comic fantasy. The scene is a small town in the mid-1930s. Trapped in a dead-end job and an abusive marriage, Cecelia (Mia Farrow) regularly seeks refuge in the local movie house.

Starring:
Dianne Wiest,Milo O'Shea
Runtime:
1 hour, 22 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Fantasy, Drama, Science Fiction, Romance, Comedy
Director Woody Allen
Starring Dianne Wiest, Milo O'Shea
Supporting actors Karen Akers, Van John, Glenne Headly, Stephanie Farrow, Danny Aiello, Jeff Daniels, Michael Tucker, Van Johnson, Edward Herrmann, Mia Farrow
Studio MGM
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By danrolnick@mac.com on 12 Feb. 2002
Format: DVD
You can feel Woody even though you can't see him. A brilliant romantic movie which completley surprises you on the fourth performance. (You'll find out what I mean). Jeff Daniels plays two parts, his character in the Movie at the local Movie House and the Actor behind the Character. Mia Farrow is in love with both of them and wants to escape her bum of a husband and her going nowhere life. If this sounds confusing then you had better get the movie so that all will be revealed. The less you know about it the better the effect. Funny, Tearful and easy viewing
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
Woody Allen's exquisite 1985 fantasy The Purple Rose Of Cairo really does have the potential to transport cinema audiences to heaven (or, at least, onto, or into, the cinema screen). In what I consider to be Allen's tribute to the great Hollywood filmmakers of yesteryear, such as Frank Capra, Preston Sturges and Ernst Lubitsch, The Purple Rose Of Cairo is a magical study of cinema's power to obsess its audiences, even if there is an inevitable jolt back to earth waiting for us in the end. In fact, the film was inspired by the Buster Keaton film Sherlock Jnr. and the 1941 comedy Hellzapoppin'. The film won the BAFTA for Best Film and was nominated for the Best Screenplay Oscar (losing to Witness).

From the opening theme of Irving Berlin's Cheek To Cheek, we know we're in for a fantastic cinematic voyage over the next 80 minutes. Set in New Jersey during the Great Depression, Mia Farrow (in another wonderful performance for Allen) stars as dippy, forgetful and cinema-obsessed waitress Cecilia, whose entire life is centred around the latest Hollywood comedies, romances and adventure stories, showing at her local cinema. Even the antics of two-timing waster and gambler, husband Monk (Danny Aiello, in probably his second best screen performance ever, behind his Sal in Do The Right Thing) cannot distract Cecilia from her movie addiction. Cecilia's obsession reaches new heights when Egyptian adventure yarn The Purple Rose of Cairo comes to town, and film character Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels in, along with that in Something Wild, one of his best performances) literally comes down off the screen to whisk Cecilia away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 100 REVIEWER on 25 April 2014
Format: DVD
A lovely film, set in the depression years of the thirties, from Woody`s finest and most varied period, in the eighties, when Mia Farrow was his muse and proved herself a surprisingly versatile actress who`d try anything - see Radio Days and Broadway Danny Rose for further proof. In fact, see them anyway!
That clever actor Jeff Daniels (at his best in the more recent The Squid and the Whale) is the pith-helmeted adventurer `Tom Baxter`, who literally steps out of a film into the one we are watching - or rather the one Mia`s dowdy abused housewife Cecilia is watching. She`s movie-mad, you see, seeing the same film over and over, until Tom `notices` her in the cinema audience.
She then meets the real actor, played of course by Daniels too, who`s playing the part in the film she and we are watching. Got that? The whole rollercoaster is planned and executed by Allen with virtuosic flair, with few flashy reminders of how clever it all is, simply a whirligig plot that leaves you reeling (pun intended).
Other parts are, as usual with Woody, perfectly cast and acted, particularly Danny Aiello as Mia`s boorish husband. He`s seldom been better.
Dianne Wiest and a young Glenne Headly turn up in a touching brothel scene, and the actors left behind on the black and white cinema screen within the film we`re watching are a splendidly motley lot, including our own John Wood, veteran Van Johnson, and the excellent Edward Herrmann.
The scenes of the film-within-a-film actors squabbling, complaining they`ve been abandoned by Baxter, are very funny, brilliantly and wholly credibly written by Allen.
It all adds up to one of Woody`s very best films, a slight enough folly in the end, but a richly satisfying, witty, ultimately rather forlorn urban adventure, with Mia`s wilted flower blooming briefly to delightful effect.

One to keep.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Philoctetes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD
Woody Allen made a number of surprisingly short films in the 1980s. This, Stardust Memories and Zelig all clock-out at under 90mins. Purple Rose hasn't the genius of the other two, but as a bittersweet comedy about the hopeless fantasies Hollywood engenders in its audience, it si the film most likely to appeal to Allen newcomers.

Mia Farrow gives a very nice performance as the downtrodden waitress with a brutish husband who's life becomes enchanted when the dashing explorer in new film Purple Rose Of Cairo suddenly walks out of the screen to talk to her; he is quickly followed by the character's actor who arrives from Hollywood in a desperate bid to persuade his character to go back to work. Jeff Daniels is splendid in this dual role.

A sweet film which is funniest when observing the plight of the actors stranded upmon the screen without the young hero, and the irritated spectators demanding an explanation from the theatre manager. I liked it when farrow's character jumps through the screen and enters the world of the movie for a night of adventure. Some of the fish-out-of-water stuff is wearying though and the film almost drags at the point the real woman has to keep explaining about the real world to the visiting character.

As I say, occasionally funny and bittersweet rather than poignant. The movie's message: Hollywood might foster illusions, but they're some consolation during hard times.
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