Tomorrow marks exactly 25 years since The Color Purple
was released in the U.S. The movie featured a then-unknown Whoopi Goldberg
in the starring role of Celie
, an already established actor, Danny Glover,
as Albert/Mister, and a local news anchor named Oprah Winfrey
Directed by Steven Spielberg
, The Color Purple
was originally met with bad reviews. Critics bashed Spielberg for straying far from the book and making the film too "soft." Nonetheless, The Color Purple
garnered 11 Oscar nominations and the fans spoke -- this film is a classic.
The Color Purple
was based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker
. The book dealt with complex issues such as domestic abuse, homosexuality, sexism and racism. When Walker gave permission to remake the film, she insisted on three things: approval of the script, approval of the director (an already famous Steven Spielberg had to audition for Walker) and that the crew behind the scenes be at least 50 percent people of color. All of these requests were met.
Famously, after 11 Oscar nominations -- including Goldberg for best actress and Winfrey for best supporting actress -- The Color Purple
lost in every single category, even down to best makeup. Spielberg didn't even receive a best director nod.
The Color Purple
grossed over $94 million at the box office and was #4 in the yearly rankings for 1985. The film goes down in history as one of the few to feature an African-American cast and a high production budget. Twenty-four years later, we still haven't seen anything quite like it... except for maybe Precious
Watch Whoopi Goldberg's vintage Golden Globe speech from 1986, where, just like Mo'Nique
in 2010, she paid homage to the late, great Hattie McDaniel
Also, click here for our recent interview
with Desreta Jackson
who played Young Celie.