A young man with a talent for music has begun a career with much promise. He meets an aspiring singer…
Release Year: 1984
Rating: 5.8/10 (7,296 voted)
Critic's Score: 45/100
Stars: Prince, Apollonia Kotero, Morris Day
A young man with a talent for music has begun a career with much promise. He meets an aspiring singer, Apollonia, and finds that talent alone isn't all that he needs. A complicated tale of his repeating his father's self destructive behavior, losing Apollonia to another singer (Morris Day), and his coming to grips with his own connection to other people ensues.
Writers: William Blinn, Albert Magnoli
Clarence Williams III
Sandra Claire Gershman
Release Date: 27 July 1984
Filming Locations: Eagan, Minnesota, USA
Opening Weekend: $7,766,201
(29 July 1984)
Did You Know?
Scenes of Wendy and Lisa kissing, suggesting a relationship were deleted from the final version.
Boom mic visible:
When Apollonia says "I'm thinking about buying a guitar", the boom mic is visible.
Matt Fink-The Revolution:
God got Wendy's periods reversed. About every 28 days she starts acting nice. Lasts about a weekend.
It's no use. Arguments about the potato-chip thin script, the haphazard
direction and some of the most laughable non-acting ever photographed for
film, will prove ineffectual. Such conditions have existed in the realm of
film vehicles for music stars since the genre began, (with some
mind-boggling examples of the worst of the lot offered by every star from
Elvis, to Frankie Avalon, to Vanilla Ice.) What you watch these movies for
is not the deep plots, solid writing or impeccable direction. It's for
moments of electricity that leap off the screen, strike you right in the
butt and have you dancing in your theater seat, as the magic of a
at his or her peak, in their heyday, turns a few minutes of film into a
literal celebration of life.
Such is the case with PURPLE RAIN, the one film that, as far as I'm
concerned, effectively captured the raw essence of the good ol' "ME"
In a thinly-disguised version of the events that shaped his career and his
life, The Purple One starred as a brilliant songwriter and musician simply
known in Minnesota music circles as "The Kid." There are three distinct
storylines, all of which have been around since Mickey and Judy put on
for the neighborhood. One documents the intensive rivalry existing between
Prince's band and the Time, fronted by the charismatic poseur and
self-described "Lay-deez Man" Morris Day, (who in a satirical and
self-effacing performance, manages to effectively steal every scene he is
in.) The battle is waged nightly at Minneapolis' legendary First Avenue
Club, (where Prince really did get his start with other leading lights
Andre Cymone, Jesse Johnson and Morris).
In the second, the two frontmen battle even harder for the affections of
new-girl-in-town Appolonia (Appolonia Kotero, in her debut, and biggest
screen role to date.)
The third reflects "The Kid's" struggle with his inner demons and the
of his problems dealing with his career and his personal relationships:
volatile, strained marriage between his equally brilliant but tragically
broken father, Francis L. (Clarence Williams III) and headstrong mother
(Olga Karlatos). The scenes between the three of them have provoked
uncontrollable snickers with their over-the-top hystrionics, but those few
moments they work, they do carry an undeniable power, and a window into
Kid's" tortured psyche that fans were only privy to before through the
And ultimately, that is what PURPLE RAIN is all about: the power of music
transcend, transform and uplift everything it touches for good or for ill,
though good is ultimately the strongest influence it exudes. Prince's
chart-topping, Oscar winning song score found The Artist at his dazzling
best, and director Magnoli made a wise call including as much
concert footage as possible.
The Battle of the Bands sequences are wondrous to behold, with both The
Revolution and The Time at their tightest, loosest and funkiest all at
Even the vocally-deficient, amply-augmented Appolonia 6 (formerly Vanity
The remaining cast all do the best they can with what moments they're
the standouts besides Williams III and Karlatos being the hysterical
between Day and Time mascot Jerome Benton, and some refreshingly
confrontational moments between "The Kid" and former bandmates Wendy and
Lisa, which threaten at times to edge into the territory of cinema verite,
rather than just popcorn-driven melodrama.
But capturing one of the decade's defining cultural touchstones is the
purpose of PURPLE RAIN, and to this day, you can talk to people who can
still remember where they were and what day and time it was the first time
they heard "When Doves Cry." With "1999" running a close second, this was
Prince's masterwork, and even though he still produces material with
of profane, profound, funk-fueled brilliance, he still has yet to top the
creative bar he raised for himself and everybody else back in 1984.