Your ‘Purple’ Production is 25, Your Highness

princelips.jpgGuess what turns 25 today? Purple Rain! Yeah, we're so old! Why, it seems like only yesterday we were made to close our eyes during the Lake Minnetonka sequence. 

It's difficult not to regard this era as Prince's most-definitive. It was the '80s. The music was a mix of Glam-Rock-meets-Electro Funk with a Pop sheen. The film was a satirical roman à clef filled with pulsating concert sequences, naughty dialogue and brooding melodrama that bordered on exploitative humiliation. But, more important than any of that, was Prince's hair. So shiny! 

prince-mirror.jpgWhy is this film a classic? Well, for starters, anything that effectively portrays Morris Day as the main antagonist clearly has something going for it. Full disclosure: As a child, it was hard not to view this movie as The Gospel, and so we would go on to slightly resent Morris Day in spite of enjoying his music. Chalk it up to his over-the-top arrogance and brilliant comic timing.
Then, there was Apollonia Kotero, who was cast as a replacement for Vanity and had the pleasure of portraying The Kid's put-upon love interest. We don't take away much from her performance, other than "Sex Shooter", which no 4-year-old had the right to know the lyrics to. Ahem. Also replaced in the film were The Time's keyboardist and bassist, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. According to legend (which may or not be true), they were fined and fired by Prince for missing a performance in San Antonio in 1983. They were replaced with "St. Paul" Peterson, Mark Cardenas and Jerry Hubbard in The Time's new lineup as depicted in the film. Jam and Lewis would then fade into obscurity, never to be heard from again. Kidding!
And how can we forget the music? So hard to pick a favorite song! The breezy romance of "Take Me With You", the high-energy "Let's Go Crazy", the show-stopping "Purple Rain." These songs and their sequences took your breath away and managed to elevate a movie that was only budgeted at $7 million. But were we ever invested in anything other than the songs? Not even the abuse storyline, which was setup to inform the performances, made as great of an impression as the music itself.

On this day, the 27th of July, two thousand and nine, we would like to salute you, oh diminutive purple genius, for gifting the world with one of the best motion pictures and accompanying soundtracks in modern times. Purple Rain, although slightly narcissistic in nature (the multiple close-ups of his eyes and lips drove home the point that he was ever-so-beautiful), remains a consummate example of a showbiz drama/musical done right. 

Tell us, SoulBouncers, what are your favorite songs, moments or lines of dialogue from Purple Rain? Let us know in the comments!

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20 Responses

  1. "This here is a BI'NESS! You ain't too far gone to see that ish!" (the club manager)

  2. My favorite quote from Purple Rain is probably the cruelest, and also the funniest line in the film, and it's backstage after the Time has just performed and The Revolution sits quietly in their dressing room the night after Prince's father was taken to the hospital. "So how's the family?

  3. I live for the lead photo on this blog. Prince, you sexy mother@*&%#!, you!
    Favorite scene:
    When Prince sings "The Beautiful Ones." You can feel his pain and his passion.
    Favorite line:
    "Let's have some action! Let's have some asses wigglin'!" -- Morris to Apollonia and 'nem.
    Favorite songs:
    "The Beautiful Ones," "Baby I'm A Star" & "I Would Die 4 U"

  4. I usually run the Computer Blue performance back a couple times whenever I watch it on blu-ray.

  5. No specific scenes, just Prince's over-the-top melodramatic flair. Loves it! and OF COURSE, the music!!!! THE MUSIC!!!!

  6. Favorite Scene: Take me with you montage and darling Nikki performance.
    Favorite Songs: ALL Of them
    Favorite Quote: Let get CRAZAY, LET GEET NUUUTS -The Time

  7. DLS77: Especially his rather flamboyant school girl run off stage after he sings "Purple Rain", then returns to sing "Baby I'm A Star".

  8. I saw Prince play in Boston in '82. The Time opened. Blew My Mind.
    I saw the 1999 tour with Vanity 6/The Time/Prince. It ushered in a second puberty. Both physical and musical. Rocked my World.
    I was driving a school van for a Montessori school when I first heard the opening riff to "When Doves Cry". It shocked my spirit.
    I saw Purple Rain coming from a mile away. And still it brings back those memories of artists doing something unlike anything before it.
    Best Song: The LONG VERSION OF LETS GO CRAZY from the movie. (those changes!!)
    Best scene: My eyes were NOT closed at Lake Minnetonka.
    Best Quote: "How's the Famiy?" ( cruelist line)

  9. such an impact that movie had on my brain. why is it, to this day (you say 25 years later? lawd jesus), when "I Would Die 4 U" comes on the radio, i am compelled to do the accompanying hand motions? (I would... die 4.. YOU... darling if you want me 2. You!)

  10. Not knowing at all that PR turned 25 today, I have been listening to Beautiful ones all day. Weird.

  11. I watched it at work this morning, to celebrate the 25th reminds me a time of relative innocence...those songs take me back, watching him perform The Beautiful Ones, Computer Blue & Darling just remember what a consummate professional he was....and I agree with the above about the Sex Shooter lyrics (though i was a lot older than 4), lol.

  12. Favorite songs: "The Beautiful Ones" & "I Would Die 4 U"
    After Prince's dad shoots himself & Prince goes a little crazy, sees himself hanging, and breaks all the bottles, then finds his dad's music. (That scene is some emotional & dramatic but I love it!)
    "Darling Nikki". Prince gyrating & on the floor?! Yes, please!
    Favorite lines:
    Morris Day- "Let's have some asses wigglin'... I want some perfection! "
    Prince- "That ain't Lake Minnetonka!"

  13. LOL @ SoulRiffic! That's so true...I'm picturing it right now...I have to watch PR tonight....

  14. I love Purple Rain!! The music is amazing, I don't think i can choose a single song, all of them are unique and original and are mixes of different music genres.
    The movie is great too, my fav scene probably is the one at the end, where he finally lets the girls have some creative input and decides to sing Purple Rain! I love this part and the raw emotion coming out of it.
    "There are no kings, only princes" :))

  15. Dang. I was thisclose to buying this on DVD the other day...maybe I should re-think that.
    At age eight, I was introduced to this movie by my Prince fanatic cousin, she simply plopped me down with the VHS and I truly remember her saying, "You're gonna watch this, or else." I was completely mesmerized by the music, performances, the fashion (oh, to dress like Wendy and Jill Jones) and Prince grinding on that floor...Fun times. And yes, she covered my eyes at that lake part...I think I need to give her a call...
    Favorite songs: I love them all but to be fair...
    "I Would Die 4 U"-that song always gets me energized and whenever I hear it, doesn't matter where I am, I do the hand movements.
    "Computer Blue"-the lesser fave, but that guitar solo is MONSTER
    I thought every scene with Morris Day was pure gold...he should've kept up with the acting as I liked him in 'Adventures of Ford Fairlaine' too which also had Sheila E!

  16. so many good things about this movie. the sex shooter performance (rawr!!), morris day & jerome, when prince finds his father's music even though he claimed he never wrote any of it down, when prince finally acknowledges wendy & lisa's genius and writes purple rain, "come back nikki, come back!"...all brilliant.
    diminutive purple genius FTW

  17. Favorite line: "DON'T I KEEP THE HEAT ON?!?!" Prince's pops to his moms during what was supposed to be a climactic scene.
    I break that out at parties all the time. Slays em, I tell ya. Heh.

  18. Sadly, I remember some scenes (The Beautiful Ones and IWD4U), but not with as much detail as y'all (Hey I was a kid! So young I dressed up as Prince to go trick-or-treating. And I'm a girl!). Suddenly I wanted to see parts from this movie again and started heading to YouTube... then realized, um, This is PRINCE. Pointless!
    Fine, Bouncers. Y'all have convinced me to get the DVD. I'm ready to be purified.

  19. Hey Nova, got this from Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis' wikipedia:
    "The pair was fired by Prince from a tour because a blizzard left them unable to rejoin after a short break to produce music for the SOS Band. However, one of the tracks they were producing, "Just be Good to Me," became a big hit and sealed the duo’s reputation, as well that of the SOS Band. The duo would rejoin the Time for one album only, 1990’s Pandemonium.

  20. I remember when this came out I couldn't see it in the theater but my best friend who was four years older and a Prince fanatic told me all about it. I had to wait for it to come on HBO to get my own personal take.
    Favorite Songs: When Doves Cry (I remember my brother and I doing the dance steps from the video), The Beautiful Ones (I was a kid but I knew he was feeling something...was so disappointed at Mariah's remake), I Would Die 4 U (So energetic and fun and the segue into Baby I'm a Star perfection!) Let's So Crazy!
    Moments: Prince sits at piano playing the bars from Purple Rain.
    Lines: Morris Day- "Let's have some asses wigglin'... I want some perfection! " and pretty much the whole opening of Let's Go Crazy