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The Color Purple
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Steven Spielberg
Kathleen Kennedy
Quincy Jones
Frank Marshall
Written by Alice Walker (novel)
Starring Whoopi Goldberg
Oprah Winfrey
Danny Glover
Margaret Avery
Akosua Busia
Music by Quincy Jones
Cinematography Allen Daviau
Editing by Michael Kahn
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) December 18, 1985
Running time 154 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million
Money made $142,000,000

The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama movie that was produced by Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Quincy Jones and Frank Marshall. It was directed by Spielberg. The Color Purple is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

The movie tells the story of an African American girl named Celie in Georgia from 1909 to 1937. It shows the problems African American women faced during the early 20th century, including poverty, racism, and sexism. Celie is changed as she finds her self-worth through the help of two strong female friends.

The movie is one of only two of Spielberg's movies for which John Williams did not create the music.


  • Whoopi Goldberg as Celie Harris Johnson
  • Danny Glover as Mr. Albert Johnson
  • Oprah Winfrey as Sofia
  • Margaret Avery as Shug Avery
  • Akosua Busia as Nettie Harris
  • Adolph Caesar as Old Mister
  • Willard Pugh as Harpo Johnson
  • Rae Dawn Chong as Squeak
  • Larry Fishburne as Swain
  • Dana Ivey as Miss Millie
  • Leon Rippy as Store Clerk
  • Bennet Guillory as Grady
  • James Tillis as Henry "Buster" Broadnax
  • Desreta Jackson as Young Celie Harris
  • Leonard Jackson as Alphonso "Pa" Harris
  • Howard Starr as Young Harpo Johnson
  • Lelo Masamba as Olivia Johnson


The Color Purple was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. Notably, Spielberg was not nominated for his direction. It won none of the Academy Awards. This tied the record set by 1977's The Turning Point for the most Oscar nominations without a single win.

Academy Awards nominations

The Color Purple was nominated for five Golden Globes, including Best Picture (Drama), Best Director for Spielberg, and Best Supporting Actress for Winfrey. Its only win went to Goldberg for Best Actress (Drama).

Menno Meyjes was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Spielberg received the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Motion Picture Director, his first.

The movie was shown at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival as a non-competing title.

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