Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer Blockbusters of 1985: The Color Purple

Back again movie fans and welcome back for Day 3 of Summer Blockbusters of 1985. It is a hot time in the old town today as the A/C is running like mad and folks are hitting the swimming pools and watering holes. This day we have a bit more grim look on life. Okay I am watering down the suffering committed in this film. The racist and sexist content is not for everyone but it is based on the same name novel by Alice Walker (The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, To Hell With Dying, The Color Purple, Finding the Green Stone, Possessing the Secret of Joy) and directed Steven Spielberg brings the story of two women in rural Georgia in the 1900s and the struggles that their friendship got them through. This is The Color Purple.

Yard needs mowin'.

Our story is narrated by the trials and tribulations of a good christian woman name of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg of Jumpin' Jack Flash, Burglar, Fatal Beauty, Ghost, The Player, Sister Act, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Toy Story 3) and her childhood friend Sophia (Oprah Winfrey of Native Son, Lincoln, There Are No Children Here, Beloved, Our Friend, Martin, Bee Movie and Selma) as they have grown, they have experienced so much evil as her own father Alphoso molested and impregnated her twice. With her sister Nettie (Akosua Busia of A.D., Late Starter, Badge of the Assassin, Crossroads and Low Blow) as her constant friend the two remain close as sisters can be until she ages, a plantation widower Mister Albert (Danny Glover of Hill Street Blues, Silverado, Lethal Weapon, Lonesome Dove, Predator 2, Buffalo Soldiers, 2012 and Death at a Funeral) scoops her up to raise his children and treat her as a personal servant. Nettie is booted off Albert's land told never to return.

Yeah no creeper creeper vibe there.

With her letters and close ties to God is all that gives Celie strength. Albert's old flame, a jazz singer Shug (Margaret Avery of Terror House, Magnum Force, The Rookies, Miami Vice, Blueberry Hill, Night Trap and White Man's Burden) sick with fever and delirous, calls Celie ugly the first time they meet. Getting to know her, Shug and Celie start forming a bond and become very close. Sophia refusing to let men walk all over her like Celie does, allows herself to be bated into a fight with a racist mayor and his wife where she is dropped into jail with little to no trial and beaten regularly. Umm what crazy times??? Yeah I have no comedy for this one folks.

With Sophia free from jail, Shug with her boyfriend Grady(Bennet Guillory of Dark Justice, Babylon 5, Star War: Jedi Knight- Dark Forces II, Charmed and NCIS) and house servant Squeak (Rae Dawn Chong of Quest for Fire, Fear City, Commando, Soul Man, The Principal, Chaindance, Hideaway and Wild Card) all want to leave Albert's farm and do so after Celie gives that man a verbal ass whipping he needed so desperately. With the ladies ingenuity they manage a haberdashery that brings the community together and outfits to walk about town.

Will Celie and Albert ever reconnect? Is Nettie even alive? Will Celie's monstrous father die and burn in the flames of Hell?

A few tidbits on the flick now.

This is comedienne Whoopi Goldberg's first feature film, proving she mastered comedy so drama was a cake walk for her and this was also Oprah Winfrey's first movie ever.

In spite of 11 nominations for the Oscar this film did not receive a single win. Shame on you, Oscars.

As producer, Quincy Jones had to coax Speilberg into directing when Speilberg said he didn't know a fraction of the racial barriers or what the history of the South was not deft enough that someone of color should tackle this given they would relate to the source material when Jones pointed " No I want you to do it. And besides, did you have to be an alien to direct ET?" Can't fault the man's logic.

Handful of youngins to watch there.