The Purple Rose of Cairo is the 13th film written and directed by Woody Allen, first released in 1985.
This film holds a special place in Woody Allen’s filmography. It is Woody Allen’s own favourite of his films, whilst he consistently rags on just about every other one he’s ever made. Even now, he claims it is the film that is closest to his original vision. From it, we can see what it is that Allen the filmmaker really wants to do. Beloved by critics if not so much by audiences – not only is it great, it’s the kind of film that only Woody Allen can make. That wonderful mix of American and European, comedy and tragedy, realism and magic.
Mia Farrow stars as Cecilia, a down and out waitress in the depression era Jersey. She’s married to a man who beats her and she is poor and unhappy. Her only escape is the cinema, and she sees every film at the local cinema. Black and white, dramatic, sophisticated escapades, such as ‘The Purple Rose Of Cairo’. Just as her life hits bottom, one of the characters in the film leaps off the screen to whisk her away.
Welcome to the Woody Allen Pages Podcast, by me, the creator of the Woody Allen Pages website. This week, episode 14, we look at 1985’s The Purple Rose of Cairo. How it was conceived, how it was made, and how Allen doesn’t hate this one. Spoilers are everywhere so watch the film first, then come back.
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