6.5/10
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Purple Rain (1984)

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A young musician, tormented by an abusive situation at home, must contend with a rival singer, a burgeoning romance, and his own dissatisfied band, as his star begins to rise.

Director:

Albert Magnoli
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Popularity
4,515 ( 1,750)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Prince ... The Kid
Apollonia Kotero ... Apollonia
Morris Day ... Morris
Olga Karlatos Olga Karlatos ... Mother
Clarence Williams III ... Father
Jerome Benton Jerome Benton ... Jerome
Billy Sparks Billy Sparks ... Billy
Jill Jones Jill Jones ... Jill
Charles Huntsberry Charles Huntsberry ... Chick
Dez Dickerson Dez Dickerson ... Dez
Brenda Bennett Brenda Bennett ... Brenda
Susan Moonsie Susan Moonsie ... Susan (as Susan)
Sandra Claire Gershman Sandra Claire Gershman ... Beautiful Babe
Kim Upsher Kim Upsher ... Kim
Alan Leeds Alan Leeds ... Stage Hand
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Storyline

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. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 July 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Baran-e Banafsh See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,766,201, 29 July 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$68,392,977

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$80,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Magnoli admitted that the "Never get married" scene between the Kid and his father moved him to tears. See more »

Goofs

Apollonia's application card says she is at the Royal Hotel. Later in the film, when Prince reads the card, which is pinned to the notice board, her address is the Huntington Hotel, the handwriting is completely different, and the notice board pin is in a different position. When The Kid then walks away from the notice board, the card is one seen earlier. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
First Avenue M.C.: Ladies and gentlemen... The Revolution!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"May u live 2 see the dawn" See more »

Alternate Versions

Network TV versions omit the song "Baby, I'm a Star", and simply have it playing over the end credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Super Soundtracks (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby I'm A Star
Words and Music by Prince
Performed by Prince and the Revolution
© 1984 Controversy Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Much undervalued film
29 October 2005 | by The_Movie_CatSee all my reviews

A much undervalued film that tells the story of a young musician caught in an ever-declining spiral of domestic violence.

At times difficult to watch, while Morris Day is portrayed as the misogynist, Prince as the knight on (motorcycle) steed, he is still called upon to twice beat a woman as part of the screenplay. That he can do this and still emerge as a flawed but vindicated hero is credit to the writing. Prince is so free of ego in this film that not only does he portray himself as a narcissistic megalomaniac who beats women, but his most famous song is fictionalised as being written by his father and Wendy & Lisa. Even further, two of his compositions - Computer Blue (admittedly the album's weakest track) and Darling Nikki - are shown as being songs that kill off an audience. Perhaps the only concession to the Princely ego is a card that lists the (slightly shorter than Prince) Apollonia as 5'6.

The nearly complete-amateur cast are mainly band members playing themselves (and reviewers who slate the actors on the terms that they've never appeared in other movies are completely missing the point), and do perfectly well under the direction. Morris Day gets most of the plaudits for his likable ham, though Jerome Benton must also get credit for bouncing off him well, particularly their stage act, which is hilarious. Day and Benton even go so far as to make an Abbott and Costello routine funny, which takes some doing.

Lastly, there's Prince. While I admit to bias, I do actually think he's a pretty good actor in terms of being able to portray a low-key version of himself. Acting ISN'T his profession, this was a film made for entertainment, so anyone pointing out that the guy in the lead role isn't Robert DeNiro and thinking they're making a point is sadly deluded. I don't want this review to be a derisory attack of other people's comments, but I've even this film slated as having a low budget and being darkly lit. How would a film about domestic violence be shot, then? With full overhead spotlights and a CGI dinosaur walking into frame?

The film acts almost as a perfect snapshot of the neon light and skinny tie era… until you remember that it was actually made in a world of curly perms and tinny synths, and this isn't some retro-recreation. Prince's best film with Oscar-winning music, it sees him at his zenith, and it's saddening to realise that, even though he would make some fine albums, he would never again capture this high.

Post-Script, July 2016: Seeing this film again, it was clear that I'd been watching it through Purple-tinted glasses. My original score was 7/10, which is ridiculously high. My revised score of 5/10 stands as generosity by itself. A genius on record, perhaps... but on film, definitely not.


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