The Color Purple is the acclaimed 1985 adaptation of the classic novel by Alice Walker, and was the first attempt at serious filmmaking by superstar director Steve Spielberg (Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third King, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial). The film is a heartfelt examination of an African-American woman's journey to selfhood in the midst of male and white oppression in the South of the 1930's. Whoopi Goldberg, in her first film role, plays the cowering Celie who has been sexually and emotionally abused by men as long as she can remember. After giving birth to two of her father's own children, she is married off to the violent and egoistic Albert (Danny Glover) who, when he is not beating or raping her, barely acknowledges her. Despite her animal-like status, Celie's relationships with women, first with her sister, and later with Shug Avery, Albert's glamorous singer mistress, progressively allow her to emerge as a fully expressed person.