The Color Purple is a staple among Black film lovers with a heartbreaking story of abuse, survival, and reconciliation. The movie’s mix of emotional moments coupled with well-placed humor and Celie’s eventual empowerment combined with a stunning cast featuring Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery, and Akosua Busia has cemented its status as a classic. Now, according to Entertainment Weekly, The Color Purple is returning to theaters on February 23 to celebrate its 35th anniversary. It’s a fitting way to cap off the final week of Black History Month and for fans who weren’t even born when it came out in 1985 to see in on the big screen.
The report states that the movie will be in theaters for that one day only. The release will be handled by Fathom Events and TCM, and is set to take place at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. local time at more than 600 theaters. Interested viewers can check out Fathom Events‘ The Color Purple page and enter their zip code to find the nearest theater and secure tickets. It’s not clear if this showing will include any commentary from cast or never-before seen clips but not including those elements won’t keep fans away from this experience.
The Color Purple is based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel of the same name. Walker’s book was very candid about the explicit abuse faced by several characters as well as Celie’s sexual relationship with Shug Avery (which was not overt in the film) and led to the book being targeted by censors over the years. There have also been several musical adaptations of the story, including a Broadway revival in 2005 with Orange is the New Black actress Danielle Brooks as Sofia and Cynthia Erivo, who starred in the West End production, reprising her Celie role.
The Color Purple sadly didn’t get the award recognition it deserved back in 1985. It was nominated for 11 Academy Awards that covered virtually every aspect of the film from cinematography, costume design, makeup, original score, and lead/supporting actress, but didn’t win in a single category.
However, the film did catapult several of its stars into higher heights of fame. Danny Glover, who portrayed the antagonist Mister, went on to star in the Lethal Weapon franchise and a long list of other films. The Color Purple‘s music was the brainchild of Quincy Jones, who was already a major entertainment force following his work on the biggest album of all-time—Thriller.
Oprah launched her infamous talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show” a year after the film’s release and went on to become, well OPRAH aka one of the most famous (and rich) people in the world. And Whoopi Goldberg won a Golden Globe for portraying The Color Purple’s protagonist Celie. Goldberg’s prolific career and award wins didn’t stop there, with her gaining the coveted EGOT status and starring in Ghost, Sister Act, and the Star Trek franchise among many, many other projects.
It’s time to re-live all of The Color Purple‘s harrowing moments when this film comes back to the big screen for a one-day experience.
Header Image: Warner Bros.