Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
The Color Purple is a heart-wrenching journey inside a world few films have dared to explore. This critically acclaimed epic, which was adapted from Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel and directed by Steven Spielberg, chronicles the lives of poor African-American women born in Georgia in the early 1900s.
Through the eyes of Celie, the story's central character, moviegoers witness the horrors these women face, including domestic abuse, incest and racism.
Despite its controversial themes, The Color Purple became a box office success after its release in 1985. It went on to earn 11 Oscar® nominations.
At the time, the movie's cast was virtually unknown. Oprah made her big-screen debut as Sofia shortly after landing her own talk show, and Whoopi Goldberg, the woman who landed the role of Celie, was performing comedy and one-woman shows when she was discovered. Danny Glover was cast to play Celie's husband, Mister, after acting in just a few movies. These actors and their co-stars—Margaret Avery as Shug Avery, Rae Dawn Chong as Squeak, Akosua Busia as Nettie, Desreta Jackson as young Celie, and Willard Pugh as Sofia's husband, Harpo—all breathed life into gritty, unforgettable characters.
Twenty-five years later, The Color Purple remains a timeless tale of tragedy and triumph, a testament to the power of love and the strength of the human spirit.