YMMV / The Color Purple

  • Asshole Victim: Anyone else happy that Celie's abusive Pa died?
  • Award Snub: Nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won nothing; even worse, Steven Spielberg went un-nominated for directing. There was a lot of speculation that it was a deliberate snub out of pure spite, after he showed he could make an Oscar Bait movie and still make just as much money as his previous work.
  • Awesome Music
  • Dancing Bear: The book at least is of arguable quality, but is used extensively for its subject and not its content.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In an interview with Akosua Busia (Nettie), she explained that in order to get the correct tone for the scene in which Mister evicts Nettie from his and Celie's house, she and Desreta Jackson were only given the instruction, "do not let Mister separate you two". When Mister finally wrenches the two sisters apart, Busia's distraught wailing of "why?!" was not scripted.
  • Foreshadowing: As Shug paints her red nails, she is told by one of the children that Celie is shaving Mister. She continues on at first as the camera zooms on her abruptly stopping, hiding her facial expression of seeing the bigger picture.
  • Ho Yay: Celie and Shug, though in the film version, this was regulated to subtext.
  • Memetic Mutation: Not in a funny way, but the "All my life I had to fight..." quote from Sofia is one of the lines that people remember.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Pa is well beyond this at the beginning of the story, given how he has abused the sisters and used them as his own sex slaves. He forces himself on a series of other girls too, and dies a Karma Houdini. Fortunately he wasn't their real father.
    • Mister appears to cross this with his horrific and systematic abuse of Celie and his banishment of Nettie, but this turns out to be a subversion, as he does the right thing by her at the last moment by paying for her family to come back to her from Africa.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Morpheus/Jack Crawford and Taystee both appear as extras in the film.
  • Tear Jerker: THE Eighties example. To the point where's become Memetic Mutation how it's the one film that is 100% likely to make a black person cry. Parodied in shows like The Boondocks.
    • In an interview with People magazine, Jesse L. Martin noted that his first date was to see this movie; he still isn't sure whether he was crying because of the movie, or the fact that he was stood up.
  • The Woobie: Celie goes through hell within the first half-hour of the film.
  • Word of Gay: Alice Walker has stated Celie is a lesbian and Shug is bisexual. She was rather disappointed this was almost completely left out of the film.