Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 12/25/2023
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures

Taraji P. Henson, Fantasia Barrino, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, Halle H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Deon Cole, Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, Tamala J. Mann, Ciara and Jon Batiste.

Director: Blitz Bazawule. Producers: Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Roy Furman, Mark Anthony Little, Quincy Jones and Scott Sanders. Executive Producers: Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, Michael Beugg, Pete Chiappetta, Adam Fell, Carla Gardini, Mara Jacobs, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Anthony Tittanegro, Courtenay Valenti and Sheila Walcott. Screenwriters: Marcus Gardley, Alice Walker (Novel: "The Color Purple"). Cinematographer: Dan Lausten.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

When I first interviewed Taraji P. Henson it was for the movie "Hustle & Flow." I asked her what other characters/roles she'd like to portray after her critically acclaimed performance in the film. Without hesitation Henson replied, she'd love to play Diana Ross.

I thought tackling such a music icon might be a tall order, but now after seeing Henson in "The Color Purple" remake and her singing the rousing song, "Push Da Button," a Diana Ross biopic needs to be fast tracked.

Henson is one of many dynamos in "The Color Purple," the latest adaptation of the 1982 Alice Walker book which is based on the Broadway musical version of the classic 1985 film.

Directed by Blitz Bazawule (Beyonce's "Black is King") and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Steven Spielberg, "The Color Purple" is a daring, flashy and powerful story from screenwriter Marcus Gardley (TV's "I'm A Virgo"). The film’s message still resonates after all these years.

"The Color Purple'' takes place in Georgia (1909) and tells the story of Celie, who is portrayed in her youth by an excellent Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, (TV's "Grease: Rise of The Pink Ladies") and as an adult by a superb Fantasia Barrino, (The Broadway Musical "The Color Purple"). As a young girl, Celie, and her sister Nettie (an outstanding Halle Bailey, "The Little Mermaid") are full of life, energy, and love for each other as they play and sing along the shoreline. If only these fun and innocent moments were a regular part of their childhood. Unfortunately, they aren't. Their mother (Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, "Origin" and "King Richard") is deceased and shown in flashbacks. They now must endure the wrath of their abusive father Alfonso (a terrific Deon Cole, "The Harder They Fall"). Celie is raped by him and has two children, but he sells them off leaving Celie traumatized and wondering where her kids are.

When Mister (a dynamic Colman Domingo, "Rustin") arrives and wants to marry Nettie, but has to settle for Celie, their lives change forever especially when Nettie comes to stay at their house. She's kicked out of their home because she refuses Mister's sexual advances. Now, Celie is all on her own and forced to deal with this monster and his rambunctious kids.

Years go by and Celie has lost touch with Nettie. Mister's son, Harpo (an amazing Corey Hawkins, "The Last Voyage of the Demeter") is married to Sophia (a sensational Danielle Brooks, TV's "Karma's World"). She's not one to be played with. Along with Sophia and Mister's on and off again old flame, singer Shug Avery (Henson) who blows into town to sing and perform, these women help Celie find her strength and inner being to rise up and stand up to Mister. When Celie does, the movie truly soars alongside its impressively staged musical sequences that most notably include a brilliantly choreographed washboard and chain gang scene and Hawkins catchy tune, "Workin.'"

The real showstoppers in "The Color Purple" include all of Fantasia's songs particularly the heart-felt "I'm Here," Brooks' "Hell No" and the aforementioned Henson number, "Push Da Button." Other performers that shine include Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, Jon Batiste, Ciara, H.E.R., and Tamela J. Mann.

Of course, comparisons will be made of this movie and the original "The Color Purple." For the most part, this remake is relatively faithful to the original. It's a different shade of "Purple," but this rich, timeless tale and gorgeously produced film is a soul-stirring triumph as well.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Look At This Trailer For "THE COLOR PURPLE"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
"Charlie's Angels"
"Hawaii Five-O"