Most Important Black Films – #16 The Color Purple


Based on the critically acclaimed novel, The Color Purple was an equally popular film that received its fair share of critical acclaim.  On to the tale of the tape…

Relevance:  The storyline of black life in the South in the early 20th century would be enough for this category.  The inclusion of the film’s author and the film’s primary producer (one Quincy Jones) is enough for this film to earn its points in this category.

Legacy:  I’ll sidestep the various jokes that still get told in reference to the film’s story and point to two actresses who made their feature film debut in this movie: Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.  Perhaps you’ve heard of them?

Craft:  While a lot of the book’s bisexuality was left out of the film, the abusive material stayed pretty much intact (to Spike Lee’s delight).  This film still gets major play on cable, which is also a testament to…

Crossover:  the fact that it received massive love from the Academy…kind of.  The Color Purple still holds the record for the most nominations (11) without a single win.  Oh, one more thing for the crossover category; it was directed by Steven Spielberg.  Perhaps you’ve heard of him?

Apollo:  Not counting kiddie movies, this was the first film I remember my parents taking me to.  I was…11 at the time I believe, so my memory of watching it from that screening are slim to be honest.  You know what I do remember from that time?  Danny Glover was a bad man…

The next film entry is coming at the end of the month.

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