Watch It

Enter your location to get local movie times + tickets:
On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

The Purple Rose of Cairo Details


Woody Allen blurs the the boundaries between the real and unreal in this unique comic fantasy. The scene is a small town in the mid-1930s. Trapped in a dead-end job and an abusive marriage, Cecelia (Mia Farrow) regularly seeks refuge in the local movie house. She becomes so enraptured by the latest attraction, an RKO screwball comedy called The Purple Rose of Cairo, that she returns to the theatre day after day. During one of these visits, the film's main character Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels), pauses in his dialogue, turns towards the audience, and says to Cecelia, "My God, how you must love this picture." Then he climbs out of the movie, much to the consternation of the rest of the audience and the other characters on screen. Liberated from his customary black-and-white environs, he accompanies Cecelia on a tour of the town, eventually falling in love with her. Meanwhile, the other Purple Rose characters, unable to proceed with the film, carry on a discussion with themselves. Desperately, the RKO executives seek out Gil Shepherd, the actor who played the hero of Purple Rose. Shepherd (also played by Daniels), is sent to Cecelia's hometown to see if he can repair the damage. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:March 1, 1985


Awarded by
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Jeff Daniels Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1985 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Woody Allen Best Original Screenplay 1985 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Woody Allen Best Picture 1985 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Woody Allen Best Screenplay 1985 Winner
French Academy of Cinema Woody Allen Best Foreign Film 1985 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Woody Allen Best Screenplay 1985 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Woody Allen Best Screenplay 1985 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Woody Allen Special Effects Award 1985 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Woody Allen Best Original Screenplay 1985 Nominee


Mia Farrow
as Cecilia
Jeff Daniels
as Tom Baxter
Danny Aiello
as Monk
Dianne Wiest
as Emma
Van Johnson
as Larry
Zoe Caldwell
as Countess
John Wood
as Jason
Milo O'Shea
as Father Donnelly
Deborah Rush
as Rita
Irving Metzman
as Theatre Manager
John Rothman
as Mr. Hirsch's Lawyer
Stephanie Farrow
as Cecilia's sister
Camille Saviola
as Olga
Karen Akers
as Kitty Haynes
Michael Tucker
as Gil's Agent
Peter McRobbie
as Communist
Juliana Donald
as Usherette
Edward Herrmann
as Henry
David Kieserman
as Diner boss
Ebb Miller
as Bandleader
Tom Degidon
as Ticket Taker
Victoria Zussin
as Diner Patron
Jeff Daniels
as Gil Shepherd
Rick Petrucelli
as Penny Pitcher
Edwin Bordo
as Moviegoer
George Hamlin
as Movie Audience
Ken Chapin
as Reporter
Milton Seaman
as Ticket Buyer
Leo Postrel
as Movie Audience
Juliet Taylor
Wade Barnes
as Diner Patron
Helen Miller
as Movie Audience
Crystal Field
as Movie Audience
Drinda La Lumia
as Hooker
Martha Sherrill
as Moviegoer
Andrew Murphy
as Policeman
Robert Trebor
as Reporter
George Martin
as Movie Audience
Ray Serra
as Hollywood Executive
Benjamin Rayson
as Moviegoer
Paul Herman
as Penny Pitcher
Mary Hedahl
as Popcorn Seller
Peter Von Berg
as Drugstore Customer
Elaine Grollman
as Diner Patron
Maurice Brenner
as Diner Patron
Margaret Thompson
as Movie Audience
Peter Castellotti
as Penny Pitcher
Glenne Headly
as Hooker
Lela Ivey
as Hooker
David Tice
as Waiter
Tom Kubiak
as Policeman
Gretchen MacLane
as Moviegoer
Willie Tjan
as Hooker
George J. Manos
as Press Agent
Helen Hanft
as Movie Audience
Mimi Weddell
as Ticket Buyer
Loretta Tupper
as Music Store Owner
Don Quigley
as Diner Patron
Jean Shevlin
as Moviegoer


Woody Allen
Robert Greenhut
Woody Allen
Gordon Willis
Dick Hyman
Composer (Music Score)
Susan E. Morse
John Kasarda
Production Designer
Stuart Wurtzel
Production Designer
Edward Pisoni
Art Director
W. Steven Graham
Art Director
Michael Peyser
Associate Producer
Charles H. Joffe
Executive Producer
Carol Joffe
Set Designer
Justin Scoppa
Set Designer
Jeffrey Kurland
Costume Designer
James J. Sabat
Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Peyser
Production Manager
Juliet Taylor
Fern Buchner