The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
Blu-ray Company Release: Twilight Time
Starring: Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello, Van Johnson, Edward Herrmann, John Wood, Zoe Caldwell
Plot: In 1930's New Jersey, Depressed during the Depression, a downtrodden housewife/waitress finds her world turned upside down when her favorite movie star literally steps down from the screen with decidedly romantic intentions.
My Review and Thoughts:
To be honest I had never even seen this movie before and that's a shock to me because I'm a Woody Allen fan and I love most all his films but this is one that just seemed to bypass my movie loving soul. So I was excited to finally see something I had not seen before from a brilliant one of a kind artistic director like Allen. Leave it to the wonderful company Twilight Time to grace this film with its first Blu-ray release.
After seeing this, this is actually one of Woody Allen's best films. It's one of those films that I would highly recommend in showcasing an experienced director that knows how to build his cast of characters in a story. This is a romantic comedy/fantasy type film that leaves a lasting impression on the viewer as it being something uniquely interesting and fresh in originality. Brilliant piece of film-making. I am actually ashamed of myself in not seeing this movie before now.
This can be defined as a Cinematic passion for any movie lover. This is one of those movies that creates in itself the love and passion that we movie nerds; we movie geeks seek out to watch. Woody Allen’s unparalleled creativity shines at its purest and most brilliant fashion in this film. This works with wonderful costumes. This is a period piece set in the 1930s in the depression era. You the viewer latch onto each of the characters and the situation that is happening. It becomes a fantasy comedy with a tragedy of emotions, yet a believable reality for the viewer. As you move along with the characters on the screen you become apart of the story.
Wonderful acting by the whole ensemble cast. Mia Farrow is absolutely wonderful as she always is in anything she ever does. She is the main lead character Cecilia who is down in luck and stuck in a marriage with an abusive, womanizing husband, named Monk, played by the wonderful actor and master talent Danny Aiello.
To pass the time she spends watching movies in the cinema to rid herself of her pain and the horror at her home. She becomes infatuated and lost in the fantasy of cinema, (sounds like my life). Soon the theater shows a film titled, The Purple Rose of Cairo, and Cecilia becomes enthralled with the story and the male character of Tom Baxter played wonderfully by Jeff Daniels. Soon to her shock and surprise after sitting watching the movie many times, one day Tom Baxter notices her and walks out from the movie.
The character of Cecilia grows on you and you can't help but fall in love with the character. Mia is perfection as the character. Mia makes the movie shine along with its passionate direction and original interesting story. A great mix of fictional fantasy with all the aspects of comedy and most of all a romantic drama setting. It has all the trademarks that you would see in a Woody Allen film. I think this is a film that absolutely showcases Jeff Daniels brilliance as an actor. I think Jeff Daniels is one of those actors that is underrated in Hollywood and is often overlooked. He is typecast in a comedy setting but Jeff Daniels can create his persona and characters in flawless ways and the character of Tom Baxter showcases his brilliance.
Dramatic, laugh out loud funny at times, romantic, mixed with the style of fantasy and drama. The whole movie is very rich in story and showcases how to make a brilliant film in plot, acting, and direction. This has simply become one of my new favorite films. I've always held Woody Allen's Annie Hall as one of his best and it is. I think The Purple Rose of Cairo easily becomes my second favorite by him. After seeing it, it is a brilliant film that I highly recommend for any lover of comedy and any love of sophisticated acting and any lover of Woody Allen. This is one of those movies that showcase why Woody Allen is so brilliant at what he does.
Something that massively stands out in this picture is cinematography by Gordon Willis. Willis was a god at his craft. Best known for his unique style. He mastered such films as The Godfather series and many Woody Allen pictures. Movie buffs, movie geeks need to know Willis was the sophisticated one that crafted and brought so much to the film world. His movies look like nothing before. He created a whole new atmosphere and gave it to the film world. Originality through his lighting and lens and structure of capturing the film the way it needed to be told is a mastery at its finest and The Purple Rose of Cairo is no different.
Another aspect about this movie is the music score by music master Richard Hyman. His 50 year career has spanned all aspects of the music world. His craft in movies and albums and countless concerts has left a perfectly woven mastery that only his touch has formed. He is a stable in Woody Allen films. Composing over ten of Allen's features. What makes Hyman so unique is his various styles of music from classic to electronic to jazz and everything in-between.
If you know me I'm a diehard lover of Twilight Time Special Edition Blu-ray's because they grace cinema with an outlet that creates beauty and an atmosphere for any movie lover. Their Blu-rays are always capturing perfection and create worthy products to collect. The Purple Rose of Cario is another prime example of honoring cinema and the film geek.
I have never seen this film so all I can say is there is some grain or dust in spots that I did notice on this Blu-ray which confused me a little on its overall quality. It's nothing major but it is noticeable at times, but does not destroy the beauty of the film. The sound is crisp and the colors and images are vibrant at times and the whole film works. Not seen it before, it’s like a brand new feature. I absolutely loved the overall quality of the film even with its spots, which is minor.
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
Not much here but you do get a fantastic special feature that most Twilight Time Blu-ray’s come with the wonderful Isolated music track. Always a fantastic listen. I being a huge music lover and movie lover; it’s like a complete "Have your cake and eat it to".
Plus you get the wonderful booklet by film historian Julie Kirgo which is always a wonderful added bonus.
Also the Original Theatrical Trailer.
Another worthy disc to own. Another passionate Twilight Time Blu-ray for fans of cinema and fans of Woody Allen. Twilight Time has brought out some fantastic Woody Allen special edition Blu-ray’s such as Radio Days, Broadway Danny Rose, Crimes and Misdemeanors and also brought out the movie Allen stared in Martin Ritt’s The Front. The Purple Rose of Cairo is another fantastic film to add to this wonderful collection and also another beauty from Twilight Time.
Make sure you head over to www.screenarchives.com to buy all the wonderful Twilight Time Blu-rays. The main page that gives you these beautiful releases on top quality Special Editions.
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