These days, Steven Spielberg's generation-spanning tale of black farmers is better known as the movie that he didn't win any Oscars for. The Color Purple bagged 11 Oscar noms but walked away with zero statuettes. That was BSL (Before Schindler's List), when the king of crowd-pleasers was about as popular with the Academy as a bag of rotting frogs. If he made it today, it would sweep the board.
And rightly so. It may be dunked in sentimentality, but Purple is a remarkable, dark and timeless piece of filmmaking. From the complex relationship between Danny Glover's vicious patriarch and his downtrodden kids to the borderline-lesbian bond between friends Whoopi Goldberg and Margaret Avery, it's full of unsettling moments that cast long shadows across the audience.