Based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this 1985 production chronicles the life of a young African-American woman named Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), who lives in the South at the turn of the 20th century. She is a poor mother of two with an abusive husband (Danny Glover) whom she fears so greatly that she calls him "Mister." Often criticized as being compelling but
too careful and slick, The Color Purple still grossed more than $98 million at the box office and was nominated for 11 Oscars, although it did not win any.
Steven Spielberg's knack for magical whimsy and lively special effects -- as well as a growing interest in more sober topics -- continues on the next page.