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The Purple Rose Of Cairo
review by Zach B.
Running Time: 82 minutes
Starring Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello
Written and Directed by Woody Allen
Retail Price: $19.98
Features: Theatrical Trailer, Collectible Booklet
Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Mono,
French Mono, Spanish Mono, English Subtitles, French
Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene
Selections (16 Scenes)
Released: November 6th, 2001
Also part of The Woody Allen Collection 3
Mia Farrow is Cecilia, a watiress during the depression.
Cecilia is lonely. She's not really fond of her work, and
feels very underappreciated by her husband (Danny Aiello)
who seems to care more about money and his interests than
his wife. Cecilia, however escapes reality by constantly
going to the movies. However, with a little twist of fate,
her favorite new movie hero Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels) jumps
off the screen and right into Cecilia's life. However, she
soon meets the actor who plays him. And Cecilia falls for
both, she must decide who and what's right for... what's
real and what's fake?
"The Purple Rse Of Cairo" is one of my and a lot of
people's beloved favorites from Allen. It's a movie we can
all relate to somehow or another. Allen's directing is
superb. The costumes, the editing and camera angles Allen
puts in the film gives it a really nice, even warm feel. He
really captures the depression era feel and people's
lifestyles and feelings.
Still, his Oscar® nominated screenplay really, really
shines. Allen creates true to life characters here, even if
Tom Baxter is fiction. The dialogue and thought behind it is
stunning. I like how Cecilia is so impressed someone so
unglamarous like her can impress someone who is so
interesting to her. I like how people react, and how the
actors within the film need to stay on the screen and
literally talk to the audiences. Not to mention the film
producers reactions, what's possible and what's not
possible. His writing style here is just superb. The quality
of the storytelling is phenomenal. Not to mention small
things become big adventures to Cecilia. I can just go on
and on. Oh, and how Tom Baxter thinks life is a movie.
But perhaps the most important aspect of the film is
Allen's themes. How can we relate to it? We all, and I mean
WE ALL like movies because not only do they entertain us,
but they offer us an escape to worlds and places we know and
dream of. Characters and plots we love to see and hear. And
now all of this is happening in front of Cecilia. Then she
is wooed by the character Tom Baxter and the character who
is playing him. Cecilia has to confront illusion and
reality. What's real and what's not, despite the fiction
being truth. There's so much insight to what's presented
here. It's a tribute to the joy of movies, and why we like
The acting here is also a triumph. Jeff Daniels as the
original Last Action Hero is simply great. He plays the
naive Tom Baxter to the fullest with charm and friendliness,
while the actor who plays him captures some sweetness and
arrogance to him. Danny Aiello is great as Cecilia's abusive
and reckless husband, also emboding the character well. But
Mia Farrow has great chemistry with all the characters.
Capturing her innocence and unbeleviability, not to mention
lonliness and joys. She's simply wonderful and represents us
in many ways.
"The Purple Rose Of Cairo" is truly one of Allen's best.
If you've never seen it, do check it out, even if you're not
an Allen fan. This is another great movie for everyone's
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen is pretty good. It has
pieces of dirt, blemishes and scratches, but they're never
really too distracting. Colors and fleshtones are pretty
bold and well saturated. Detail is pretty good and so are
the black levels. I didn't notice any edge enhancment
either. This a rather good transfer that I was pleased with.
It looks a bit compressed too. I wish it was a bit better,
The English mono track (there's also French and Spanish
tracks in mono) is also pretty good. There is some hiss here
and there, but it's not much. Dialogue is clear and crisp,
while other sounds such as music sound rather good. You can
hear everything fine, and since this movie is sort of a
throwback to classic films, it actually works rather well.
And since it's dialogue driven, it works too. Very classic
feel to this track. Spanish, French and English subtitles
plus English closed captions are included.
The cool full frame Theatrical Trailer is included
and the usual, insightful collectible booklet.
While I hoped for a better transfer, "The Purple Rose Of
Cairo" is a true Allen classic. Filled with wonderful
characters, writing and expression and truth, this is a
movie everyone should see. There is no doubt it's one of his
(4.5/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)