Newest Reviews
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Newest Articles
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
  Purple Rain A Prince Among MenBuy this film here.
Year: 1984
Director: Albert Magnoli
Stars: Prince, Apollonia Kotero, Morris Day, Olga Karlatos, Clarence Williams III, Jerome Benton, Billy Sparks, Jill Jones, Charles Huntsberry, Dez Dickerson, Brenda Bennett, Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z., Matt Fink, Brown Mark
Genre: Drama, Music
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: While the Revolution are onstage at their local Minneapois club belting out one of their songs, an aspiring singer, Apollonia (Apollonia Kotero) is trying to get in to see the manager. She needs her big break, which the Revolution already has to some extent, but unless their leader The Kid (Prince) is more careful about how he treats those around him he may jeopardise his future in showbusiness. And The Kid's great rivals, The Time who are led by Morris (Morris Day), are not going to let him steal their thunder, wanting to dominate the scene themselves. Apollonia gains entry, and tries to contact the manager, and it is then she catches The Kid's eye...

Of course, originally it was to be Vanity who would be catching The Kid's eye, but she and Prince had broken up by the stage it got around to the making of his debut feature film, Purple Rain. The eighties threw up a few enduring icons of music: Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Morrissey, Adam Ant, um, Boy George, er, Shakin' Stevens and so on, but one of the men bestriding that decade's pop charts like a Colossus was Prince Rogers Nelson, and this film with its huge-selling soundtrack album declared him a force to be reckoned with, making him into a megastar of his age. But since the years have gone by and his eccentricities dominated the headlines, does this stand up?

Certainly the songs stand up, and anyone who recalls this era will be immediately transported back there when the first bars and spoken intro to "Let's Go Crazy" start up at the begining. As it progresses, it grows more apparent that the music was the best thing about Purple Rain by far, as the plot, a meandering soap opera of vaguely autobiographical parents and girlfriend issues, does not bear close scrutiny, and reaction at the time this was released reflected that. Ah, but nostalgia can do funny things to the mind, and the idiosyncrasies here, such as Prince becoming a world-beating ventriloquist (I defy you to see his lips move), can entertain.

Not as much as the tunes, but there no doubt that without, say Morris Day's comedy stylings as the charismatic bad guy, the experience would be a lot poorer: seeing him with his sidekick Jerome Benton and their routines, including an Abbott and Costello take-off, are a delight even as you know they're trying to be The Kid's nemesis. Everyone recalls Prince telling Apollonia that she must pass the initiation of purifying herself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, but they do forget that it's bits like that which reveal a little light misogyny in the script by director Albert Magnoli and William Binns (who created Starsky and Hutch).

This also emerges in The Kid's treatment of the ladies in his band, Wendy and Lisa, in scenes that make you wonder how much of this is based in fact as they try to persuade him to use some of their self-penned songs. Naturally, our hero is only flawed so he can redeem himself in the end, so it's all right that he slapped Apollonia about because it was only as a result of his wife-beating father's attitudes that he even raised his hand to her, or so we're meant to think. If you can ignore such missteps, which are intended by all appearances to be taken entirely seriously, then there is always the sound of Prince singing "Take Me with U", "When Doves Cry", "I Would Die 4U" or that show-stopping title track which reduces the audience to tears (!), also sincere, but far easier to enjoy. Purple Rain wasn't the only film Prince made, but it was the best, even for those who were not around to hear him the first time.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2611 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M


Last Updated: