The Purple Rose of Cairo Poster

Release Date: March 20th, 1991

DVD Release Date: November 6th, 2001

PG|1 hr 22 min

Plot Summary
Unhappily married Depression-era waitress Cecilia (Mia Farrow) earns the money while her inattentive husband, Monk (Danny Aiello), blows their meager income on getting drunk and gambling. To assuage her loneliness, Cecilia escapes to the picture show and becomes transfixed with the movie "The Purple Rose of Cairo," and especially with its lead character, archeologist Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels). When Tom literally steps off of the screen and into her life, both realities are thrown into chaos.

Cast: Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello, Dianne Wiest, Van Johnson, Zoe Caldwell, John Wood, Milo O'Shea

Director: Woody Allen

Genres: Comedy drama

Production Co: Orion Pictures

Keywords: Forbidden love, Touching, Amusing, 1930s, Husband, Escape, Marriage

Ratings & Reviews

view all
  • A cornball adventure film about a dashing young explorer mixing with New York cafe society types. What a delightfully complicated fantasy film this is. What Woody Allen has done with The Purple Rose of Cairo is create a classic film about our love affair with fantasy. [28 Jun 1985, p.1]

  • Allen has done better than this, but The Purple Rose of Cairo is a sweet little film and an interesting diversion for his legion of followers. show more

  • The Purple Rose of Cairo, Woody Allen's tender Valentine to the movies, features poignant performances by Jeff Daniels and Mia Farrow. In the critical rush to canonize Allen, it's easy to forget how far Farrow has come as an actress. [31 May 1985, p.27]

See all critic reviews on


Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Winner Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1985)
Nominated Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
Nominated Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)
Winner Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Winner Original Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1985)
Nominated Special Visual Effects
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1985)