Color Purple, The

The Color Purple Movie Poster

"It's about life.  It's about love.  It's about us."  Starring Whoopi Goldberg as Celie Harris Johnson, Danny Glover as Albert Johnson, and Oprah Winfrey as Sofia, the Color Purple was a Steven Spielberg film released in 1985.  This movie is based on a 1982 novel written by Alice Walker, which highlighted the poverty, sexism, and racism that black women faced in the early 20th century.  Reviews of the film were most positive, with heavy hitters like Siskel and Ebert giving it their endorsement.  Although the film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, it did not win any.  At the end of the day, it was a huge financial success and continues to rank high as one of the best dramas to come out of the 1980’s.

The movie follows the life of Celie (Goldberg), a young African American girl trying to make it in the South (circa 1909 to 1937).  By 14, Celie has had two children by her step father, both of which were taken away.  Celie’s father forces her to marry a wealthy black widower named Albert Johnson (Glover), who ultimately treats Celie like a slave.  People who come to live with them begin to help Celie gain self-confidence, such as Shug the jazz singer, Sofia (Winfrey), and Celie’s sister.  Eventually, Celie devises a plan to kill her husband, but is stopped by Shug.

Eventually, Celie gets the courage to stand up to Albert, and she leaves with Shug and several others.  As time rolls on, we find Celie becoming a successful clothing shop owner, while Albert languishes.  At some point, Albert realizes he has been a terrible person.  In an effort to make things right, he pays for Celie’s sister (and family) to move from Africa to the United States.  The movie ends with Albert having some redemption as he looks on from afar as Celie reunites with her beloved sister.