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Purple Rain (1984) Poster

(1984)

Trivia

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Morris says a total of 13 words to the Kid. The Kid never says a word to Morris.
Scenes of Wendy and Lisa kissing, suggesting a same-sex relationship, were deleted from the final version. They had a lesbian relationship in real life.
The story is based loosely on Prince's own life.
The songs were pre-recorded, but Prince and the Revolution played live along with the tracks to capture the feel of a true live performance.
Prince's protégée, Vanity, was originally slated to be cast as the Kid's love interest. She left the film prior to shooting, and the girl group "Vanity 6" became "Apollonia 6".
When The Kid's father is playing the piano, the music is actually being played by Prince.
An early, simpler version of the unpronounceable symbol that Prince changed his name to during his dispute with Warner Bros. Records is painted on the side of his motorcycle's gas tank. It also appears on a wall of the overpass his motorcycle rides under during "When Doves Cry."
Clarence Williams III, Olga Karlatos, and Apollonia Kotero were the only professional actors in the entire cast.
The Kid tells Wendy and Lisa, "Nobody cares about your music." Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman later released five albums on their own. None of them were commercial successes in the U.S.
In the original script, The Kid takes Vanity to a barn, and they make love during "When Doves Cry.' Rain patters strongly against the barn, and deep thunder rolls, the lyrical inspiration for the song "Raspberry Beret." The song is found on "Around the World In A Day," which was released after "Purple Rain."
Purple Rain was shopped around to numerous production companies, including Indigo Films, which was owned by Jim Brown and Richard Pryor. Brown himself expressed his disappointment about not acquiring the project in the Spike Lee documentary Jim Brown: All American (2002).
Albert Magnoli admitted that the "Never get married" scene between the Kid and his father moved him to tears.
The "father's song" played by the father after he beats The Kid's mother and The Kid walks up to him, is heard later in the movie as the guitar solo in Computer Blue.
William Blinn's first draft of the script was titled "Dreams". Prince didn't like the story and wanted the word "purple" in the title.
Two takes of "The matter with this house..." sequence were filmed. According to the director's commentary, the film lab lost the camera negative for the scenes and had to use footage from a work print to include in the film. This explains the loss of picture quality during the scene.
Morris' pick-up lines to Apollonia, before the Revolution performs "The Beautiful Ones", are paraphrased lines from "Chili Sauce", the third track from The Time's third album "Ice Cream Castle". The album also contains "Jungle Love" and "The Bird", which are featured in this film. He also says, "What time is it," the title of the Time's second album.
The Kid's treatment of Wendy and Lisa in the film is pretty much how Prince treated them in real life.
Three different Honda motorcycles portray Prince's motorcycle. He rides is a highly stylized 1981 Hondamatic CB400A automatic with spoked wheels and custom faring, handlebars, seats, and sissy bar. Stunt riders rode 2 manual CB400s made to look like his bike. Sometimes when The Kid does crazy bike tricks the clutch is visible, indicating a stunt rider on a manual bike.
Albert Magnoli filmed a second love scene that wasn't included in the final cut of the film. It contains the illusion of purple rain. A snippet of this scene is included in the theatrical trailer and the "When Doves Cry" montage. This scene, and other deleted footage, are outlined in the film's screenplay found on various websites.
The success of this project benefitted just about every division of Warner Brothers. The box office grosses helped the film division, the soundtrack sales helped the record division, the home video release helped that division, and the promotional videos aired on MTV constantly helped the music video division.
According to the director's commentary, three versions of the love scene were filmed: a "G" rated version, a "PG" rated version, and an "R" rated version, which was used in the film.
The third verse of 'Darling Nikki' was omitted from the final film. It appears on the movie's soundtrack album.
The original screenplay, found on various websites, contained an extremely explicit sex scene between Vanity and The Kid during the "ride of rage" sequence. It's unknown if the scene was actually filmed when Apollonia replaced Vanity as the leading lady. This adds to the mystery of a long-rumored early edit of Purple Rain that was given an X rating by the MPAA.
Apollonia Kotero was actually married at the time of filming. She was sworn to secrecy about it, so people would really think she and Prince were a couple.
Prince's management offered James Foley the job of director by after seeing a rough cut of Reckless (1984). He said he was too busy and declined, but recommended his editor, Albert Magnoli.
Morris Day apparently had a substance abuse problem throughout production, and was high during most of filming. He often had to be almost literally dragged out of his room to the set.
By the time the film was released, Morris Day and Prince were not on speaking terms due to "creative differences."
Albert Magnoli told Rolling Stone that when the concept was first brought to Warner Bros., they suggested that John Travolta should play Prince.
While shooting the Lake Minnetonka scene, Apollonia Kotero actually jumped into freezing cold water. It snowed an hour after filming. Four takes in she developed hypothermia. Prince was afraid she would freeze to death, but she wanted to keep going. Her takes were moved to Los Angeles, California.
The audio from the three songs in the final concert, which included "I Would Die 4U", "Baby I'm A Star", and the title song "Purple Rain," were recorded live on August 3, 1983, at the First Avenue club in Minneapolis, as part of a fund raiser for the Minnesota Dance Theater. It also marked the official debut of Prince's new band The Revolution. The concert scenes were re-enacted later.
Brown Mark is the only member of the Revolution who never speaks in the film.
Prince did most of his own bike riding next to a camera truck.
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Jennifer Beals was offered the role of Apollonia. She turned it down in order to study at Yale.
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Aside from Prince and his onscreen parents, almost every character in the movie is named after the actor who plays him or her.
Some people thought this was the only Prince film that he didn't direct himself. Albert Magnoli later revealed that he'd ghost-directed Prince's concert film Sign 'o' the Times (1987).
Although Albert Magnoli and William Blinn shared the writing credits, it is not known how much of Blinn's material was used. Magnoli estimates that only two or three of Blinn's scenes are in the final cut of the film.
Prince cast Apollonia Kotero, a virtual unknown at the time, after he saw her in Tales of the Gold Monkey: Force of Habit (1983). She played a saucy island girl who was sleeping with a German priest.
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A few days before the premiere, Prince had a nightmare that Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert despised the film, with Ebert ripping the film apart. He said, "I dreamed those two guys on the TV were reviewing the movie and that fat guy was tearing me up!" Siskel and Ebert both loved the film in their reviews.
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Morris and Jerome's "What's the password" conversation is reminiscent of Abbot and Costello's classic "Who's on first" routine.
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Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman used the intro music from the song "Purple Rain" as the basis for their single, "This is The Life", from the soundtrack for Dangerous Minds (1995).
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A dance group known as Game Boyz dance on the balcony during the Time's "Jungle Love" performance. Three of the group's members, Tony Mosley, Kirk Johnson, and Damon Dickson, became members of Prince's band the New Power Generation. They were also background dancers in Graffiti Bridge (1990).
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Following the performance of "Darling Nikki," Billy Sparks tells the Kid, "Nobody understands your music but you, Kid," a line that seemed to predict Prince's later commercial decline.
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One of the production assistants was a young Lee Daniels, future director and producer of the hit Fox series Empire.
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The scene in which The Kid brings Apollonia to his basement includes a shot of a Pegasus statuette. The back-cover art of Prince's self-titled debut had a similar statue.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Originally, The Kid's father was to die of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. At the last minute, the director and the producers decided to let the father live.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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