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The Purple Rose of Cairo [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. 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: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Mar. 2002
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005V8VP
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,519 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Cecilia (Mia Farrow) is a bored waitress who has a womanising slob for a husband and who regularly visits her local cinema in order to escape from the harsh realities of Depression-era America. One night, while rewatching her latest favourite, 'The Purple Rose of Cairo', the film's hero (Jeff Daniels) steps down from the screen and asks her to show him around. A fantasy love affair ensues, but the couple's bliss comes under threat from Cecilia's husband, the bemused actor whose fictional alter-ego has gone walkabouts, and the studio who want their character back on the screen.


"I've just met a wonderful new man. He's fictional but you can't have everything." So says Cecilia (Mia Farrow), the central figure in Woody Allen's lyrically humorous Purple Rose of Cairo. The era is the Great Depression, and she is the bullied wife who finds escape in romantic movies, falling in love with the explorer hero, Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels), of the eponymous film. So far, nothing remarkable. But Allen has Baxter spot her in the audience, fall in love with her, and desert the picture, much to the irritation of the other characters. The surreal quality of the situation develops further when Gil Shepherd--the actor who played Baxter (Daniels again)--seeks out his fictional alter ego to persuade him back into the film and thus save both their reputations. Naturally Shepherd, too, falls in love with Cecilia, and she's left to choose between fiction and reality, chooses the latter and is then cruelly jilted. The message seems clear: fairytales are just that, make-believe. There's no such thing as a happy ending. Dating from 1985 (after Broadway Danny Rose and immediately before Hannah and her Sisters), this is one of the few movies in which Allen doesn't actually appear, though he's recognisable in every line of Farrow's character. It's also a nostalgic tribute to the era that defined movie glamour, the close-up of Cecilia's face at the end a moment of pure Hollywood. At 81 minutes, this is a small but brilliant gem.

On the DVD: Aside from the technological improvement of DVD over video, the new format adds little by way of features: you can view the original trailer, scan the film scene by scene, and there's a choice of subtitles in eight languages.--Harriet Smith

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD
The Purple Rose of Cairo shows us just how vital a filmmaker Woody Allen is when removed from the bumbling, neurotic caricature, who often overwhelms the broader aspects of his work. Along with Love and Death, Annie Hall, Crimes and Misdemeanours and Bullets Over Broadway, The Purple Rose... is a bona-fide masterpiece; one of the greatest American films of the last fifty years, and further proof (as if it were needed?) that Allen is a filmmaker equal to (if not greater than) the more celebrated likes of Coppola, Spielberg, Kubrick, Scorsese, et al. Like those films aforementioned, Purple Rose demonstrates that Allen can take on board the influence of European cinema and combine it with a style of his own, creating a film that relies heavily on character and conversation, and yet, is totally enjoyable and occasionally very funny.
The script is really one of Allen's best, combining a great and imaginative story with intelligent characters and believable scenarios... while the whole thing is made just that little more enchanting through the evocative recreation of depression era New Jersey, and the mannered, though no less impressive directorial flourishes from Allen. The cast is perfect too, managing to bring Allen's world to life, as well as presenting us with a believable emotional centre on which the director can navigate the more elaborate elements of the plot. Farrow has never been better as the put-upon dreamer swept up in her love of cinema, and, in particular, her dashing "leading man in the making" Gil Shepherd.
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Format: VHS Tape
During the Great Depression Cecilia (Mia Farrow) is trapped in a dreary life with a soulless husband (Danny Aiello), so she escapes to the movies. There she becomes hook on "The Purple Rose of Cairo," which she watches so many times that Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels), the dashing archaeologist of the film becomes so distracted he decides to leave the film and walks off the screen into Cecilia's life. Suddenly Cecilia is happy, even if Tom is just a fictional character. Meanwhile, Hollywood is in an uproar as other Tom Baxters are threatening to walk out of the picture as well, leaving it to actor Gil Shepherd to try and reign in the character he created.
Some critics dismissed this Woody Allen film as a flip on Buster Keaton's silent classic "Sherlock Jr.," a surreal fantasy about a film projectionist and amateur detective who climbs into a movie. But so what if the idea is not new? The chief charm here is what Allen does with the idea. The romantic triangle between Cecilia, Tom and Gil is pleasant enough, but for me what is hysterical is what is going on back at the theater with the characters in the movie who are waiting to find out what happens. Henry (Edward Herrmann) is worried they will turn off the projector and make everything dark, while Jason (John Wood) insists the movie is really about him so they do not need Tom to come back. Rita (Deborah Rush) points out she is rich and does not have to put up with this nonsense while the maid, Delilah (Annie Joe Edwards) objects to people being in the wrong reel. Of course the time comes for Cecilia to go through the looking glass to join Larry (Van Johnson) and the Countess (Zoe Caldwell) at the swank nightclub, where Kitty Haynes (Karen Akers) is quite upset to find Tom with another woman.
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