Classic of the Week: The Purple Rose of Cario (1985)


The Purple Rose of Cairo is a 1985 American romantic  fantasy comedy film directed by Woody Allen. It stars Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels and Danny Aiello. The story is about a film character named Tom Baxter that leaves a fictional film of the same name, to go to the real world.

The film is set in New Jersey during the Great Depression in 1935 and tells the story of Cecilia (Farrow), a klutzy waitress who goes to the movies to escape her hopeless life and abusive and loveless husband Monk (Aiello). She goes to the movies to see the RKO Radio Pictures fictional film The Purple Rose of Cairo. 

After seeing the film multiple times Tom Baxter (Daniels) the lead character, notices her and breaks the fourth wall by emerging from the black and white screen to the real world filled with color.

I am a huge Woody Allen fan, but let’s not get into his controversy. This is definitely one of his best films. It angers you, saddens you, makes you laugh and at times, it warms your heart. A very clever film from a very clever man. Allen knows how to blend seriousness, humor and romance. Not many directors today come even close to his smart writing and directing. Truly a one of a kind filmmaker.

I was hoping this film would be as good as Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters and it was not good, but great. Everything is so smartly done and the characters and actors are fantastic. This a film that can be watched over and over without getting old. This is Mia Farrow’s best acting since Rosemary’s Baby. She plays a woman that is being abused, that is trying to escape her husband (who always comes back) and seeks peace by going to the movies.

A horrible marriage, with a sweet movie loving woman that only wants happiness and peace, makes this film even more better. It pulls out every single emotion, making the story truly powerful. Everything from the scenery, the plot and acting is outstanding. This is a film that will be loved for generations. Not many films today come even close to being as unique and great as this one.

No, this is not a kid’s movie, despite the PG rating. It has violence, drinking and some foul language. But all of these things are needed, because without them, this film would not be the same. This film deserves to be in the National Film Registry, it is that special, that wonderful, a true work of art that has stood the test time. Never once is it boring, or unoriginal. There are too many words that mean this film is spectacular from beginning to end. 13+ 5/5


2 thoughts on “Classic of the Week: The Purple Rose of Cario (1985)

  1. Are you still a Woody Allen fan? Most people aren’t because of all the messy rumors that surround him. I still like his work because at some point I feel like we have to separate the art created from the artist.


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