Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Why YOU say ''Color Purple'' is a top tearjerker

Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover (1985, Warner)

Posted on

Whoopi Goldberg, The Color Purple
The Color Purple: Everett Collection

Why YOU say ”Color Purple” is a top tearjerker

From the moment 14-year-old Celie’s newborn is ripped from her arms, we know we’re in for a multi-tissue event. Steven Spielberg’s searing adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel about a group of disparate black Southerners consistently makes our eyes fill to the brim as their stories unfold over three decades. Celie (Goldberg) and her sister are literally torn apart by the abusive Albert (Glover). Sofia (Oprah Winfrey) has the sparkle beaten out of her. Chanteuse Shug (Margaret Avery) yearns for her preacher daddy’s love. And if that isn’t enough to get the tears flowing, there’s always Rae Dawn Chong’s pitiful performance.

KLEENEX MOMENT We dare you to try holding it together when the sisters are finally reunited, along with Celie’s two long-lost children.

WHY WE TEAR-JERKED IT With ”E.T.” on the list, we felt we had Spielberg’s teary work well represented, so this and ”Saving Private Ryan” fell by the wayside.