'The Color Purple' Is 30 Years Old Today!

Groundbreaking film with Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey was released in 1985.

— -- Thirty years ago, the movie "The Color Purple" brought to the big screen a world audiences had scarcely seen before -- that of poor African-American women facing domestic abuse, incest and racism in the rural South in the early 1900s.

Based on Alice Walker's 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the movie, like the book, was not without controversy. Despite that, it went on to success at the box office, grossing more than $142 million worldwide, earning 11 Academy Award nominations, and making stars Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover household names.

The film has since become a cultural touchstone, particularly for black women, and helped inspire the 2005 Broadway musical, which earned 11 Tony Awards, and its current revival starring Jennifer Hudson.

In honor of the film's 30th anniversary, we've made a list of 30 things you may not know about "The Color Purple."

1. Though it was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including best picture, best director for Steven Spielberg and acting nods for Goldberg, Winfrey and Margaret Avery, it it didn't take home a single one -- tying 1977's "The Turning Point" for the most Oscar nominations without a single win.

2. Spielberg called "The Color Purple" his first "grown-up" film. His eighth movie, it was a departure from the summer blockbusters, like "E.T." and "Jaws," that made him famous.

3. The film earned Spielberg his first Directors Guild Award.

4. Winfrey, then a relatively unknown local Chicago talk host, was obsessed with Walker's novel and determined to play a role in the film when she heard a movie was in the works. After auditioning for the role of Sofia and waiting months for a response, she retreated to a "fat farm" in Wisconsin. "I wanted to let it go," she told the audience at the Santa Barbara film festival in 2014. While there, she got a call from Spielberg who told her if she lost one pound, she could lose the role. "Honey, I packed my bags in seven minutes, stopped at the Dairy Queen and went to audition," she said, adding that she "learned the principle of surrender" from that experience.

5. Goldberg, on the other hand, told Winfrey during a "Color Purple" reunion on her national talk show in 2010 that she didn't want the role of Celie at first. "I never made a movie before," said the comedian, who was known then for her one-woman show. "I didn't know how this thing worked, and if I messed it up, I didn't want to get in trouble." Goldberg originally read for the role of Sofia in front of Spielberg, executive producer Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and several others who happened to be at Amblin that day. But instead of reading lines from the script, she performed a bit from her comedy act in which a stoned E.T. gets arrested for possession of an illegal substance. Goldberg won over Spielberg, who then asked her to play Celie instead.

6. Roger Ebert said Goldberg gave "one of the most amazing debut performances in movie history."

7. Glover, who played Mr.-, had only been in three movies before "The Color Purple." Confessing that some of the scenes were tough for him to watch, he told Winfrey during the reunion show that his 92-year-old grandmother was so angry after she saw it that she said, "That boy know he was raised better than that. I'm gonna get a switch."

8. Glover's grandmother wasn't the only one angry over the black male characters' portrayal in the film. Spike Lee said the film was "done with hate," and that the Mr.— character was a "one-note animal."

9. The Los Angeles premiere drew protesters from The Coalition Against Black Exploitation for its depiction of black men abusing black women.

10. Other prominent black writers, journalists and academics dismissed the film as dangerous, anti-black and racist.

11. Adolph Caesar, who played the father of Mr. —, passed away a year after the movie's release.

12. The famous dinner table scene, with everyone gathered around the table, took three days to shoot. "By the end of the three days, the ham had gone sour," Oprah said during the reunion show. "We didn't want to look at that food."

13. The night before the big dinner table scene, Glover and several members of the cast and crew went out on the town on their day off. "We had all been partying," Danny recalled on the reunion show. "And we came there, I mean, just wasted."

14. Caesar was so out of it that he forgot his teeth in his hotel room, Glover said.

15. During that famous scene, the little girl sitting next to Winfrey at the dinner table is actually Goldberg's real-life daughter, Alexandrea Martin, who was 11 at the time.

16. Originally producers wanted Tina Turner to play the role of Shug Avery, but the legendary rock star passed. "I owe it to Tina for turning it down and (casting director) Reuben Cannon for giving me the opportunity to read," Margaret Avery said on the reunion show.

17. Akosua Busia, who played Nettie, may not have been well known to American audiences, but in her native Ghana, she is. There, Busia is a princess! She is the daughter of the ex-prime minister and a prince of the royal family of Wenchi, a subgroup of the Ashanti.

18. Busia was being considered for a role in another film but Cannon felt she was too young. Then a couple days later, she told Winfrey on the reunion show, he called and asked her to read Walker's book. Busia said she knew someone named "Whoopi" had the part of Celie, so she auditioned for the role of her sister -- and got it.

19. Busia was married to "Boyz In The Hood" director John Singleton for three years before they divorced in 1997. They have a daughter, Hadar Busia-Singleton.

20. Rae Dawn Chong, the daughter of actor Tommy Chong, was one of few actors in the film with previous film credits. Her name made the movie poster, but Winfrey's did not.

21. Quincy Jones, the film's executive producer and composer managed to convince Spielberg to direct the film, despite plenty of naysayers. "Everybody in town was saying, 'Quincy Jones is out of his mind,'" he recalled on the reunion show. "He thinks he's going to get the greatest director in the world on his first movie, and he's going to do a black movie before Schindler's List. That's when I found the power of being underestimated."

22. After Spielberg was on board, the team had to convince Walker to give them the rights, but she had never heard of the director. She only agreed to meet with him after her daughter, Rebecca Walker, took her to see "E.T," which she loved.

23. Walker approved of the director after meeting him in her San Francisco home for the first time. "When Steven appeared himself, I really loved him, as well," Walker told Democracy Now in 2012. "He was very open, knew what he was about, wanted very much to do this film."

24. Jones suggested to Spielberg that Winfrey play the role of Sofia. He was in Chicago to testify at a trial, when he happened to catch Winfrey on her local talk show "A.M. Chicago" and thought she would be perfect for the role.

25. Beyoncé quoted the movie in the liner notes of her first solo album.

26. Winfrey's favorite line from the film was the one she delivered to Miss Celie: "You told Harpo to beat me."

27. Auditions for the film were held under the name "Moon Song" to keep the movie a secret.

28. Chong's favorite line from the film: "You ain't nothing but a big ole heifer." She told Winfrey on the reunion show, "That was my moment actually," to which the talk mogul responded, "And that was my moment to punch you out."

29. Goldberg told Winfrey that people still come up to her and deliver Shug's line, "You sho' is ugly," and her response is, "What are you doing? And then I realize, it's 'Color Purple.'"

30. Spielberg's son Max was born during the making of the film. In fact, that's Max who can be heard crying when Celie gives birth in the movie.