"You’re black, you‘re poor, you’re ugly, you’re a woman, You‘re nothing at all!"
Description: Ugly words spoken by Albert Johnson (Danny Glover) to his wife, Celie (Whoopi Goldberg) in the motion picture The Color Purple (1985).
In the film, Celie Harris Johnson is a lonely black woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her cruel husband, "Mister" Albert Johnson.
Sadly, Celie's early life had been filled with violence and incest. She was raped by her father (Leonard Jackson) and had two children that were taken away from her. Then her father gave her away to Albert Johnson. a local widow who treats her like a slave.
Then, one rainy night, Shug Avery (Margaret Avery), a jazz singer and old flame of Mister Albert arrives at the Johnson home. Disoriented from an illness, Shug is carried into the house. When she looks at Celie for the first time, she grins, and says "You sho' is ugly."
As the story progresses, Celie and Shug become friends and lovers. With the affection given to her by her new friend, Celie's gains more self confidence.
When Old Mr. (Adolph Caesar) comes to visit Albert, Celie gives him a glass of something cool to drink, as he sits on the front porch. As he converses, Old Mr. insults Shut Avery, saying, "She black as tar, nappy-headed, got legs like baseball bats, and I hear she got that nasty women's disease."
As Old Mr. exits the porch, Celia takes a glass from him, and quietly thinks "Next time he come, I'll put a little Shug Avery pee in his glass. And see how he like that."
Finally, one day, Celie's patience come to an end at a family dinner, and she decides she will tolerate her husband's cruelty no more. Putting a knife to Albert's throat, she proclaims, "Until you do right by me, everything you think about is gonna crumble.” With the encouragement from guest Sofia (Oprah Winfrey), Celie removes the blade from his neck.
"It’s time for me to get away from you. And end your creation. And your dead body be just the welcome mat I need. "
Now, embarrassed and angry, Albert says, “Who you think you is? You can't curse nobody. Look at you. You’re black, you‘re poor, you’re ugly, you’re a woman, You‘re nothing at all!” Celie leaves the room with Shug at her back, but reminds Albert, "Until you do right by me, everything you do is gonna fail."
As Celie leaves the farm for the last time, Albert runs out of the house and shouts, "I should of locked you up. Just let you out to work" Celie defiantly replies, "The day you plan for me is the one you're gonna rot in."
Albert approaches Celie with his arm raised high to hit her, when Celie turns and gives him a hex sign, and says, "Everything you done to me, I already done to you." Then Celie climbs into the rumble seat of a bright yellow roadster convertible. As the car drives away, Celie speaks these parting words:
"I’m poor, black, I may even be ugly, but, dear God, I’m here. I’m here..."
Note: In the film The Toast of New York (1937) Cary Grant as Wall Street broker Nick Boyd asks beautiful but vain socialite Fleurique (Thelma Leeds), “Did anyone ever call you ugly?” “No.” she asserts. “You’re ugly!” says Grant. “Why, I think I hate you!” the belittled woman replies.
In the film For Richer of Poorer(1997) Kirstie Alley as Caroline Sexton says to her husband Brad (Tim Allen), “I can do ugly! I did YOU for the last ten years!”
On the situation comedy SEINFELD/NBC/1990-98 George Costanza (Jason Alexander), a balding, perennial loser recalls the childhood insult "Your mother’s uglier than Hazel!" The taunt refers to the homely housekeeper Hazel Burke (Shirley Booth) on the sitcom HAZEL/NBC/CBS/1961-66. George revealed this childhood memory while talking to a female stranger (actually a thief) with whom he thought he was going to have sex. George was handcuffed to a hotel room bed at the time. Estelle Harris played George’s "Uglier than Hazel" mother, Estelle.