8.1/10
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18 user 13 critic

Sign 'o' the Times (1987)

A concert film with theatrical staging, featuring live performances by Prince and his band.

Directors:

Prince, Albert Magnoli (uncredited)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Prince ... Self
Sheila E. ... Self
Sheena Easton ... Self
Dr. Fink Dr. Fink ... Self
Miko Weaver Miko Weaver ... Self
Levi Seacer Jr. Levi Seacer Jr. ... Self
Eric Leeds Eric Leeds ... Self
Atlanta Bliss Atlanta Bliss ... Self
Wally Safford Wally Safford ... Self
Gregory Allen Brooks Gregory Allen Brooks ... Self
Boni Boyer Boni Boyer ... Self
Cat Cat ... Self
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Storyline

In front of a crowd at the Rotterdam Music Hall, Prince and his band perform 13 numbers, 11 of which are from his double album, "Sign 'o' the Times," and all but "Now's the Time" are his compositions. This is high energy stuff, with neon signs flashing above the stage, suggesting the honky-tonk district of a big city. Between a few of the numbers, there are vignettes of street life. Three women - Shiela E, Boni Boyer, and Cat - provide rhythmic, vocal, and physical pyrotechnics. Sheena Easton appears in a film within a film, her rock video "U Got the Look." In constant motion, never far from center stage, is Prince, Minnesota's charismatic pixy. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you go to only one concert this year... the Prince movie is the one!

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to the "original" footage that was filmed from 2 live shows, ending up with poor video and sound quality, the final cut of the film was shot entirely at Prince's Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota, in his 12,500 ft. soundstage. See more »

Goofs

During "It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night", someone (unseen) takes away Prince's microphone and stand. It's absent when he calls for the band to play "A-Train!" but returns right after. See more »

Crazy Credits

"If your body gets tired, keep dancing 'cuz u gotta keep the blood flowing down 2 your feet. Brother Brooks will be 'round in a minute with a bucket filled in it squirrel meat. All thanks 2 God, may u live 2 see the dawn." See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Now's the Time
Composed by Charlie Parker
See more »

User Reviews

Enjoyable, energetic show with great performances that hasn't dated at all
20 June 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Performing a stage show with dramatised elements in front of an audience in the Rotterdam Music Hall, Prince delivers a show that has the power to win over those that are not really bothered at any degree by his music. I personally quite like some of his tracks but have never bothered myself to do more than like what I'll occasionally hear on the radio and I would never consider shelling out for a concert but I must admit really enjoying this film. The start worried me – was this going to be more bad acting than singing? Would this "pimp" storyline get in the way of what I had come to see? After the initial bit of acting though the film goes into the title track and from there on in it is one good song after another.

The "story" aspect of it will come in an out but it never gets in the way of the music. In fact it actually helps the show be a lot more interesting for the viewer because there is lots going on and lots of people coming and going on stage, interacting with Prince and the music. I'm not suggesting that there was anything approaching a narrative here but it is certainly an impressive stage show – lots of energy and spectacle and certainly what you would expect if you paid the big bucks for a big star. However, even without this I think Prince could have held the audience because he does have the quality to do it. I've seen Tori Amos, Talib Kweli and a few others do it but they have all played smaller, much more intimate gigs while some of artists I have seen in big stadium gigs have struggled to do more than sing and not connected with the audience that well. Prince does well and to his credit he is not afraid to share the spotlight – making for a better show.

His musicians are all impressive; Fink, Bliss and Boyer to name a few are very good, while Shelia E is an impressive drummer who also plays well to the crowd. Special mention to Cat the dancer though, in this age of constant booty-shaking on uninspired MTV videos her moves don't look dated at all and she is still very sexy and talented – winning over the crowd as well. Sheena Easton makes an appearance as well for a song or two and generally helps the film.

Overall, those that dislike Prince will not be won over by this but if, like me, you think he is OK then this film is worth a look because it does show him at his sexual, performing best. The talented support he has and genuine energy in the performances all combine to make an enjoyable show that is worth checking out.


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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prince - Sign O' the Times See more »

Filming Locations:

Minnesota, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$950,116, 22 November 1987

Gross USA:

$3,000,073

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,000,973
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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