Production info

The Purple Rose of Cairo
USA, 1985

Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels, Dianne Wiest, Danny Aiello
Directed by Woody Allen


After losing her job, waitress Cecilia goes to see the adventure movie "The Purple Rose of Cairo" in hopes of raising her spirits. She gets fascinated by the dashing young archaeologist in the film, Tom Baxter. After Cecilia has seen the film several times, much to her surprise Tom Baxter notices her sitting in the audience and walks off the screen and into her life. Romance blooms between them. When news of this gets back to the movie studio, the producers send the real actor who played Baxter to convince his character to get back on the screen.

This romantic comedy, that Woody Allen has said is his favorite, contains a few references to ancient Egypt. In one scene the archaeologist is seen exiting an Egyptian tomb and introduce himself to a group of tourists as "explorer, adventurer. I am doing a little archaeological work. A real-life explorer!" In reference to the title of the movie we also learn that he is "in search of the Purple Rose of Cairo. It is an old legend that has fascinated me for years. A pharaoh had a rose painted purple for his queen, and now the story says purple roses grow wild at her tomb. How romantic". However, his quest is cut short as he is whisked away to New York, so we never learn the outcome.

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