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 leave 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.
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.
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: How can Oprah ride around in a one of a kind 1928 or 1929 Model "A" Ford Deluxe Phaeton? This car that is used in the movie is obviously a '28 or '29 model because it has the short chromed radiator shell ('30 & '31s had a stainless steel radiator shell). If you look closely enough you will also see tell-tale signs of it being a '28 or '29 model. The first year for the Deluxe Phaeton was 1930. Ford continued making it to almost the '40s, 1938. The Model "A" Ford Deluxe Phaetons were made in 1930 and 1931. 6,175 units total. The dead give away that it is, in fact, partly a Deluxe Phaeton is that it is a two door vehicle. The Standard Phaetons all had four doors. Other things that make it a '28 or '29 model are a dished steering wheel w/small chrome horn button, 15:00 oval Stewart Warner speedometer with trip set showing 50,840+ miles, chrome map light is visible in the center of the solid chrome instrument cluster (no match striker flutes as in '30 & '31 models), conical shaped headlights instead of spherical as in '30 & '31 models, small rounded edged hubcaps on 21 inch wheels ('30 & '31s had smaller wheels - 19 inch with larger hub caps), and cylindrical shaped taillights. There were no oblong instrument clusters in Deluxe Phaetons because the first ones were made mid-year 1930. No oval speedometers. It is a really nice looking, well restored, car but it is a one of a kind Model "A". No Deluxe Phaetons were ever produced in 1928 or 1929.
Revealing mistake: When Celie is having her baby, and her sister brings the kettle of boiling water into the house, as she gets ready to pour the boiling water, she places her left hand on the "boiling" kettle. If it were really boiling water, she would have burned her hand in a second.