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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Purple Rose of Cairo [Blu-ray]


(Woody Allen, 1985)


Also available in Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 [Blu-ray] which contains Manhattan, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Stardust Memories, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Zelig, and Broadway Danny Rose


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Orion Pictures

Video: Arrow Academy



Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:22:08.506 

Disc Size: 25,512,223,739 bytes

Feature Size: 24,931,030,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.30 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Transparent Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 9th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit



English (SDH), none



Trailer (1:38)





Description: One of the best movies about movies ever made, The Purple Rose of Cairo is a magical, intoxicating comic fable about life, love, illusion and hope.

In the Depression-hit New Jersey of the early 1930s, lonely waitress Cecilia (Mia Farrow) becomes addicted to the products of the Hollywood dream factory as a means of briefly escaping her bleak life and loveless marriage. In the comforting darkness of the cinema, she becomes so obsessed with one film in particular, the adventure-romance The Purple Rose of Cairo, that its central character Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels) notices her in the stalls and steps through the screen to greet her. But how can the rest of the film proceed without him? And what if other actors get similar ideas above their station?

Both a hilarious romantic comedy and a complex philosophical essay about the nature of illusion and reality, The Purple Rose of Cairo is one of Woody Allen s richest films, its ideas slipping down so easily that it only later becomes apparent just how deep they are.



The Film:

"I've just met a wonderful new man. He's fictional but you can't have everything." So says Cecilia (Mia Farrow), the central figure in Woody Allen's lyrically humorous Purple Rose of Cairo. The era is the Great Depression, and she is the bullied wife who finds escape in romantic movies, falling in love with the explorer hero, Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels), of the eponymous film. So far, nothing remarkable. But Allen has Baxter spot her in the audience, fall in love with her, and desert the picture, much to the irritation of the other characters. The surreal quality of the situation develops further when Gil Shepherd--the actor who played Baxter (Daniels again)--seeks out his fictional alter ego to persuade him back into the film and thus save both their reputations. Naturally Shepherd, too, falls in love with Cecilia, and she's left to choose between fiction and reality, chooses the latter and is then cruelly jilted. The message seems clear: fairytales are just that, make-believe. There's no such thing as a happy ending. Dating from 1985 (after Broadway Danny Rose and immediately before Hannah and her Sisters), this is one of the few movies in which Allen doesn't actually appear, though he's recognisable in every line of Farrow's character. It's also a nostalgic tribute to the era that defined movie glamour, the close-up of Cecilia's face at the end a moment of pure Hollywood. At 81 minutes, this is a small but brilliant gem.

Excerpt from Amazon.UK located HERE


During the Depression, downtrodden housewife Farrow so inflames a film's leading man (an explorer-poet) that he climbs down from the screen, and entices her into a chaotic but charming love affair. Woody Allen's deft script investigates every nook and cranny of the couple's bizarre relationship, the irate Pirandellian reactions of the illusory characters left up on the screen, and the bewilderment of the actor whose movie persona has miraculously gone walkies. As the star-struck couple, Farrow and Daniels work wonders with fantastic emotions, while Allen's direction invests enough care, wit and warmth to make it genuinely moving.

Excerpt from Timeout located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Firstly, Twilight Time have The Purple Rose of Cairo available on Region FREE Blu-ray HERE - and we expect the transfer to be very similar to Arrow's.


The Purple Rose of Cairo gets another max'ed out transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Films. Once again there is an appealing texture to the image quality. Skin tones show some warmth and there is no noise in the, many, darker sequences. The 1080P supports a very pleasing, film-like, presentation in the original 1.85:1 frame. The black and white 'on-screen' sequences look intentionally rich, flat and heavy. No complaints at all with the HD appearance.















Audio :

Arrow use an authentic linear PCM (24-bit). Dialogue is consistent and we can note buoyancy in the music with Dick Hyman's (Mighty Aphrodite) credited score augmented by Irving Berlin's Cheek to Cheek as sung by Fred Astaire and other period pieces like I Love My Baby, My Baby Loves Me and Alabamy Bound. They sound superb in the uncompressed transfer. Arrow also offers optional English (SDH) subtitles and their Blu-ray disc is region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

The Arrow only has a trailer but their Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 Blu-ray package offers Manhattan (not available individually), on Blu-ray, and a hardback book featuring new and archive writing on all the films.



Arrow's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 Blu-ray package certainly seems the more reasonably way to go with this imaginative, and lovely, film. The package has with Manhattan, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Stardust Memories, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Zelig, and Broadway Danny Rose - it's a wonderful fantasy with excellent performances and superb art direction. Strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

November 24th, 2016

Also available in Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 [Blu-ray] which contains Manhattan, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Stardust Memories, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Zelig, and Broadway Danny Rose


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze






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