Beatriz De Castro Gomez Randall McGuireJanuary 24, 2018The Purple Rose of Cairo The film The Purple Rose of Cairo by Woody Allen shares a common portrayal of archaeologists in the media. Featuring a twilight zone, the story follows a fictional archaeologist, Tom Baxter, as he comes to life and explores the world outside of a theatre box. During the time of the Great Depression, Tom inexplicably breaks free from a black and white theatre screen after becoming infatuated with a young woman in the audience, therefore abandoning his duties as both an archaeologist and an actor. This film adopts several stereotypes attributed to archaeologists, those of which include their gender, motive, and overall appearance. To begin with, the archaeologist in the movie, Tom Baxter, fits the stereotypical physical image of most archaeologists. Tom is a young fictional actor in a film within the actual film, The Purple Rose of Cairo searching for a well-known tomb in Cairo, Egypt. His attire consists of a khaki ensemble, including khaki shirt and pants, as well as matching khaki hat and belt. He has on at all times digging boots that are also appropriate for his fieldwork. To add on, because most archaeologists in the media are male and of Caucasian descent, Tom is no exception. Tom’s love interest, Cecilia, is a young waitress during the Great Depression attempting to make ends meet. Fed up with her marriage and stressed because of her recent job loss, she begins to continuously watch her favorite film, The Purple Rose of Cairo, until suddenly fiction becomes real life and her favorite movie character, Tom Baxter, breaks the fourth wall to spend time with her. Her role in the movie involves exploring the real world alongside Tom and escaping from her dreadful life, however she does not partake in any archaeological endeavor. While Tom and Cecilia share some time together, the movie breaks the stereotype that the archaeologist wins the girl at the end of the movie. Towards the end of The Purple Rose of Cairo, Cecilia is forced to choose between Tom and another man and eventually walks away from her relationship with the archaeologist. Tom’s role within his fictional film consists of searching for a legendary tomb that belonged to a Pharaoh’s Queen in Cairo, Egypt. Due to the Queens love for purple roses after receiving them while alive from her husband, a myth developed that her tomb now grows wild purple roses. Tom’s character has a fascination with this myth and therefore resides in Cairo to perform his research design before heading off to New York City to be with Cecilia. This description also follows most stereotypes since Tom is searching for something that is lost. Instead of the archaeologist in this film being chased after by antagonists such as nazi’s or communists, like is often shown in movies featuring archaeologists, Tom and Cecilia are attacked by bystanders who believe Tom should return to his fictional world. This includes other fictional characters who depend on him to continue their movie, as well as nonfictional characters such as policemen and audience members in the theater. One particular antagonist, Gil Shepherd, is only exposed towards the end of the film. By falsely proclaiming his love for Cecilia, Gil is able to separate the couple. This action prompts Tom to return to his fictional movie. Although there are no real dangers within this film, in contrast to those that include collapsing cities or mummies, Tom does risk imprisonment at times due to his ignorance concerning the real world and their laws. Because the nature of the movie involves a fictional character coming to life and running away from his duties to explore the world, his career as an archaeologist fits the explanation for his curiosity and love to inspect his surroundings. Tom’s interest to understand the human behavior throughout the film is a prominent feature that can be linked to archaeologists. However, it is not essential to the story that the character be an archaeologist. Any sort of profession would have resulted in an equally similar plot development. There is also the question of whether or not these stereotypes develop a negative or positive effect on the community of archaeologists. Taking into account the amount of interest produced as a result of films featuring these stereotypes, many may argue that it has had a positive effect. However, because these are misleading attributes, they create an unrealistic expectation to the general public. Also, since most of these films feature males as the archaeologist, it may create a disproportion in the amount of females that become as interested or inspired to follow this career path. While more females have joined the field in recent years, there is an evident gender gap amongst older generations. To conclude, the film The Purple Rose of Cairo explores several stereotypes linked to archaeologists. These include the way in which the archaeologist Tom dresses as well as his purpose throughout the film. Nonetheless, the film also breaks away from some common attributes by separating the archaeologist from his love interest as well as having neither of them in any real danger. Work CitedAllen, Woody. The purple rose of Cairo. Orion/Jack Rollins-Charles Joffe, 1985.