Prince electrifies the silver screen in PURPLE RAIN
In 1984, an up and coming music sensation known as Prince made his film debut in the rock and roll drama PURPLE RAIN. The story follows a young Minneapolis based musician named “The Kid” (Prince) whose troubled home life inspires and fuels his creativity. The Kid and his band The Revolution are a featured act at a nightclub called First Avenue. The other groups consist of Morris Day and the Time and Dez Dickerson and The Modernaires.
While he rocks out and gets audiences cheering, The Kid sets his sights on a beautiful young woman named Apollonia (Apollonia Kotero) who he begins dating. When his volatility causes a fight between them, Morris Day steps in and persuades her to front his latest project, an all girl group dubbed Apollonia 6. This causes The Kid to lose his cool and after a violent outburst, he finds himself in danger of losing his place on the club’s roster. When he returns home one night he finds his mother (Olga Karlatos) and father (Clarence Williams III) have had their worst fight yet. Somehow The Kid manages to transform the tragic situation into art and composes a new song. When he returns to the club he plays the moody masterpiece entitled Purple Rain which he dedicates to his father.
Although the film’s story is rather thin and the acting amateurish (almost all the parts were played by non professionals), the real reason to watch the film is to see Prince’s stunning live performances which prove how powerful he was at commanding a stage and thrilling an audience. Purple Rain is now a cult classic that showcases his musical artistry which was influenced in large part by such acts as Little Richard, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix and Parliament Funkadelic.
Prince went on to direct three films himself: Under The Cherry Moon, Sign O’ The Times and Graffiti Bridge. While all were modest successes, Purple Rain remains the film that really stood out and helped put him on the pop culture map.
Dedicated to the memory of Prince Rogers Nelson (1958-2016)