Other mistake: Mister cooks Shug Avery a breakfast of grits, biscuits and ham, and takes it to her room. She throws the breakfast against the wall. The breakfast leaves a bright yellow and bright red stain on the wall. There was nothing on the tray that could have left those colors on the wall. (00:51:10)
Continuity mistake: After Harpo and Sophia are married, Harpo leans in to kiss Sophia but she is whisked away by relatives and he turns away. In the next shot we get a side view of Harpo and he is still leaning in to kiss her after he had already turned away in the previous shot. (00:38:35)
Continuity mistake: When Celie is combing Shug Avery's hair while she is in the tub, you see Albert creeping up the stairs looking to see what is going on. In the background you hear his father shouting at the house, wondering if anyone is home. At the time Albert is at the top of the stairs he is wearing a reddish shirt. The next shot shows him walking out the door to meet his father, but now he is wearing a green shirt. (00:55:00)
Factual error: When Celie is leaving Albert, she is riding in the back of the car with Shug. As the car drives away down the dirt driveway you can see the telephone pole and electricity wires at the end of the driveway. Not unusual now, but in rural Georgia in the 1930's, it would have been impossible.
Revealing mistake: Right after young Celie gives birth, take a look at the baby after it is handed to her. It is obviously a stiff doll. (00:04:20)
Continuity mistake: The letters that spell "sky" on the piece of waxed paper change throughout the whole movie.
Continuity mistake: When Mister asks for Nettie and is told he can have Celie, Celie and Nettie are watching from behind him through a window on which a window lock is obvious. When the camera shows him on the porch, there is only an opened door behind him and no window. (00:08:15)
Character mistake: In the scene where Sophia confronts Celie in the cornfield, she starts by saying, "You told Harpo to beat me". Later she tells Celie, "If you want a dead son-in-law Miss Celie, you keep on advising him like you do". Harpo is actually Celie's stepson, NOT her son-in-law.