top of page

The Color Purple 4K         review by Bobby Blakey

Warner Bros has been celebrating their 100th anniversary by digging into their archives and bringing classic films to 4K for the first time. Their latest is the 1985 Steven Spielberg brought Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, The Color Purple to the big screen starring Danny Glover, Adolph Caesar, Margaret Avery, Rae Dawn Chong, Whoopi Goldberg in her breakthrough role, and Oprah Winfrey in her film debut. With the new musical version getting ready to hit theaters, what better time to revisit the original with an all-new 4K release.

The Color Purple follows a Southern Black woman, Celie who gradually gains self-respect as she strives to educate herself and to find love--despite an abusive spouse and a society biased against her race and her sex from 1909 to 1949.


I remember seeing this film for the first time and not fully understanding the impact it had as a child. I knew it wasn’t the kind of film I was interested in at the time, but was still profoundly impacted by it nonetheless. Through the years I saw it with different eyes at different levels of maturity and still found myself engaged by it in different ways. Now seeing it yet again I am still firmly planted in awe of the importance and execution of this film.


The story is filled with so many levels of emotion including love, hate, fear and anger to name a few. The story in and of itself is powerful, but it’s the performances that bring it to the next level. It’s hard to imagine Whoopi Goldberg then and now in this type of role. With turns in films like Jumping Jack Flash and Sister Act along with her stand-up comedy it didn’t scream drama actor, but she breaks all those walls in a powerful performance that is outstanding.


We all know Oprah Winfrey as the powerhouse mogul and talk show host these days, but even then, it was not the first person I would have expected in this film. I am not a fan of Oprah in any fashion to be honest, but you cannot deny her brilliance in this film. She has some truly powerful moments in the film and is easily one my favorite when she decides to stand up for herself. It’s a powerful painful scene to watch fully engulfed by Winfrey’s performance.  


Everyone in this film is outstanding and the film is a work of cinema perfection. After all these years I still love it and feel the heft that it burdens the message with on the audience. It is sadly just as relevant now as ever and worthy to be brought to a new generation of audiences.


In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including trailers, featurettes and more. I’m on the fence how I feel about the musical version coming out and if it will have the same impact, but thankfully this new 4K version of the classic is still here to remind me where it stands.


Grab your copy of The Color Purple available now on 4K for the first time from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.

bottom of page