It’s about life. It’s about love. It’s about us.

“I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.”

Shug Avery

The Color Purple

Release Date: December 18, 1985

Based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple is a richly-textured, moving film set in America's rural south that received an astounding 11 Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.

Whoopi Goldberg, winner of the Best Actress Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination, makes a triumphant screen debut as the radiant, indomitable Celie. Born into a painful life with an abusive father, and given away to an abusive husband (Albert, or “Mister,” played with powerful and conflicting notes by Danny Glover), Celie must learn to find her value, love, and strength in sisterhood with equally strong and inspiring women who pass through her life as a child and woman.

Goldberg and Glover’s impressive portrayals are complimented by a distinguished cast that includes Oprah Winfrey (also making her film debut, like Goldberg) and Margaret Avery—who both received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress—as well as Adolph Caesar, Willard E. Pugh, Rae Dawn Chong and Akosua Busia.

Menno Meyjes, making his feature debut after previously writing Steven Spielberg’s The Mission for the Amazing Stories series, adapted Walker’s book to the screen with sensitivity and insight into the hearts and spirit of the author’s complex characters and their relationships. The film’s lush, evocative images were captured by cinematographer Allen Daviau (Amblin'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial), its sounds and songs, composed by the film’s producer Quincy Jones.†

The Color Purple, which also marked a new, more mature color in director Steven Spielberg's artistic palette, is an exquisitely crafted, landmark film that continues to be treasured and talked about for decades.

† The joyous and celebratory song “Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister)”, with music by Jones and Rod Temperton, and lyrics by Jones, Temperton and Lionel Richie, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.

About the Film

About the Film

CAST
  • WHOOPI GOLDBERG,
  • DANNY GLOVER,
  • MARGARET AVERY,
  • OPRAH WINFREY,
  • WILLARD PUGH,
  • AKOSUA BUSIA,
  • DESRETA JACKSON,
  • ADOLPH CAESAR
DIRECTOR
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG
SCREENWRITER
  • MENNO MEYJES,
  • BASED ON THE NOVEL BY ALICE WALKER
PRODUCERS
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG,
  • KATHLEEN KENNEDY,
  • FRANK MARSHALL,
  • QUINCY JONES
CINEMATOGRAPHER
  • ALLEN DAVIAU
PRODUCTION DESIGN
  • J. MICHAEL RIVA
COSTUMES
  • AGGIE GUERARD RODGERS
EDITOR
  • MICHAEL KAHN
COMPOSER
  • QUINCY JONES
AWARDS
  • DIRECTORS GUILD (DGA) AWARD: STEVEN SPIELBERG