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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 9 January 2006
As a big-time Prince fan of the last three to four years, I really can't believe I've only just got round to watching "Purple Rain". The brand new 2-disc anniversary Special Edition led me to buy it. Wow, I was really looking forward to watching it, but I wasn't prepared for just how electric it actually is. Prince's musical performances throughout the movie are nothing short of astounding - he REALLY has the moves in this one. I am very familiar (from repeated listens) with the classic "Purple Rain" album and all its songs, but to see them in the context of the movie completely alters your perception of the tunes and lyrics - like COMPUTER BLUE, THE BEAUTIFUL ONES, WHEN DOVES CRY and PURPLE RAIN itself. There is something undescribably hypnotising about the scenes where Prince and The Revolution perform. The closing songs BABY I'M A STAR and I WOULD DIE FOR U show how much energy and sheer talent Prince was brimming with in his mid-20s (he's overflowing!), it blew me away. It even makes Michael Jackson seem inanimate even in his peak years.
Prince shows you how to win the girl of your dreams - drive her to a lake, make her jump in, then drive off - absolutely hilarious stuff in hindsight.
Some of the scenes are very 1980s and unintentionally hilarious but this adds to the film's overall charm. Morris Day is the coolest cat on the block (and hilarious), and when his group The Time perform THE BIRD you get to see Morris Day and Jerome Benton light up the stage Minneapolis funk style - I love their dancing in this bit, and how Benton provides Morris with a mirror mid-performance.
I already can't wait to watch it again, I really can't!
Extras are terrific - particularly seeing a young Eddie Murphy pre-Beverly Hills Cop admit he is a "Prince groupie".
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on 17 December 2004
I'm in total agreement with some of the other reviews on here, this is without doubt the best rock'n'roll movie ever made.
This 20th Anniversary edition looks excellent thanks to the digital remaster.
The nightclub scenes are just brilliant, absolutely capturing the essence of a time when musicians could be daring and odd and still be loved for it. Check out some of the hairstyles and clothes of the audience members. Blimey!
The story-line is fairly auto-biographical, we all know that, and it's a fairly simple 'kid from messed-up family wants to break free thru his music' type scenario, but it's lack of a complex plot is more than made up for in the 'live' performances throughout the film. These bits capture Prince at possibly his most vibrant, electrifying and vital best. He engages both his audiences, us and the film one, through his performances, some of which are so damn foxy it hurts. The Darlin' Nikki bit anyone? Hot damn!!!
There are some real tender scenes aswell, I love the bit where he's talking through the puppet thing, and also some of the family scenes with his mum and the tragically sad story of his father. It's in these scenes we really see Prince's acting abilities, which through the rest of the film, it has to be said aren't always evident, bless him. Very touching.
The love story is a little flat, but I believe that's due to Appollonia not Prince. She's a little staged and it doesn't seem she could let herself go completely with him, even though they were lovers in real life I think?
Morris Day is quite a comic talent, and along with Jerome Benton, their scenes are of a fairly good comic/slap-stick standard.
The extras on this version are most interesting too. Particularly the 3 docus, First Avenue;The Road to Pop Royalty, Purple Rain; Backstage Pass and Riffs, Ruffles and a Revolution; The Impact and Influence of Purple Rain. Really good stuff on those. But was there really any need to stick on the awful footage of the MTV Premiere Party! Watch this bit once, and then never again!
Also includes 8 great videos, one of which is the Vanity 6 all-time 'classic' Sex Shooter! Eek!
Nice motorbike too!!
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on 29 June 2007
This movie is soooo 80's and watching this last night had me dying while bringing back some fond memories. This semi-biographical tale of Prince's struggling to make it in the music industry is hit and miss throughout. For those who haven't already seen this; the film is really nothing more than a feature-length music video marking Prince's acting debut; he is essentially playing himself here, and is surprisingly charming. Prince is no actor...he mumbles his lines and resorts to melodrama in serious scenes...but his performance truly conveys a great deal of pain and conflict.

For a musician in his first role, he is actually quite good. Morris Day is a virtual scene-stealer; the "Time" leader plays, who else, Morris Day and his performance is inspired and funny. Prince's then-band mates Wendy and Lisa also shine as well as Apollonia who is adequate as The Kid's love interest. Clarence Williams III ("The Mod Squad") gives the best performance here as The Kid's father; his rage, confusion, and guilt truly come through in a brilliant performance, and his role should have been bigger.

"Purple Rain" is certainly an ego trip for its star. But Prince certainly deserves to have a big head because the music in "Purple Rain" is nothing less than awe-inspiring. He deservedly won an Oscar for his score, and the excitement of his live shows are truly on display here. The Time is also fun to watch; "Purple Rain" includes their performances of two of their biggest hits, "The Bird" and "Jungle Love."

"Purple Rain" is not without its imperfection. The film doesn't fully investigate The Kid's home life with the exception of a few throwaway scenes. Despite the charms of most of the performers, the acting is amateurish and often laughable. Despite its shortcomings, "Purple Rain" is a modern classic, the quintessential 80's picture. If you get a chance, rent or buy this DVD, the quality is great as well as the music.
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on 24 May 2010
This is one of those films that stands the test of time. I am not really a Prince fan in all honestly but I managed to sit through the whole film and rather enjoyed it. The Audio and Visual quality are nearly flawless and the price is good for a blu-ray
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on 19 May 2016
I have to say that the acting isn't that great in this film, But the soundtrack is off the scale in terms of 80's music, Song after song it is absolutely amazing.

I recommend this film to everyone who loves the 80's even if you aren't that much of a prince fan.
The songs will have you dancing, Clapping along, Singing, And maybe even crying to the epic power ballad that is purple rain.

I highly recommend this DVD if only for a blast of nostalgia.

I hope this review was helpful. Thank you for reading.
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on 3 December 2013
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today...

This film is very special to me. And I am sure it is to many others also. This film is about Prince becoming a star and what a star he became. The soundtrack is one of the greatest works ever written in pop/rock. This was Prince at his peak and nobody could touch him. Sure, the acting is a bit naff and there are flaws in the film but all that is forgotten once Prince takes the stage and performs songs like "Let's Go Crazy", "The Beautiful Ones", "Darling Nikki" and the super epic that is "Purple Rain". I have seen many acts live but no one can play like Prince. There are also plenty of extras on here too, to keep people happy.

I can't say I noticed a big improvement visually, comparing the DVD and Blu Ray but the audio is much better with the Blu Ray!
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on 21 May 2016
This is going to be hard to write a review for.

I was very upset by Prince's death. He was like the Mozart of pop and that is no exaggeration of his genius. At the same time he was a difficult man. Our geniuses never needed to be perfect people too. genius really is a burden.

Much of Prince comes out in this movie: his mysogyny, his charisma, his genius, his narcissism and his inner damage. It makes you cry but I cried more for the female characters.

It really evokes that time and place. The music is brilliant . The style is amazing. The plot is intense. But it is mysogynistic though it explores the cycle of male to female violence and abuse.
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on 14 November 2003
'Purple Rain' is the best Rock 'n' Roll movie ever made...i'll get that out the way first.
The amount of money the film grossed worldwide is quite staggering, and i'm assuming pretty much everyone who was around in 1984 would have went to see it. The film basically made Prince a global superstar.
'Purple Rain' is essentially the story of Minneapolis club musician 'The Kid' (Prince), and his attempt to try and make an impact with his music whilst struggling with an abusive homelife and a troubled relationship with his girlfriend; Apollonia Kotero.
The movie centres around The Kids fiery relationship with Apollonia and his rivalry with Morris Day (front man of one of many prince side projects - The Time).
The story will be unimportant to most, and truthfully the plot & characters are fairly one dimensional, but that isn't why you would see this film...
The musical set-pieces in the movie are outstanding, and it is Prince's performances and stage theatrics that carry the film. Particular highlights during the film??...
...take your pick, there isn't a single bad movement from Prince in the entire duration, but if you want to proove to someone that Prince is truly a master showman let them watch the 'I Would Die 4 U/Baby, I'm A star' performance at the climax of the film, and tell them to notice that he doesn't sit still for the 7 minute + running time.
Other then the obvious highlights of the music, Morris Day is about the best thing in the film. Cocky, arrogant, and over-the-top; he is a stark contrast to Prince's smouldering, myserious portrayal of The Kid and provides some light-hearted comic touches in pretty much every scene he's in.
The acting throughout is for the most part good; Prince and Co. were never going to have too much trouble, the movie is semi-autobiographical after all, but it's still quite an achievement considering none of the stars had any previous acting experience.
The only two professional actors in the film (Clarence Williams III & Olga Karlatos) play Prince's parents and understandably spent more time rehearsing, and doing numerous takes to get their scenes as good as they can be.
'Purple Rain' really can't be recommended enough, as a Prince fan you should already have it, and if you don't you NEED it.
Saying that though, a lot more could have, and should have been done with the DVD version.
At the least the americans got a trailer with it...
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on 26 April 2016
I have loved Prince and his music since I was 12 years old. Re watching this film having not viewed it for over 10 years I was transported back to my Prince obsessed youth. He was a musical genius who took his music seriously but not so much him self, he was fun loving and his humour was very tongue -in-cheek. This film is fun, dramatic and packed with amazing music. He will be missed dearly.
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on 7 January 2004
Quite possibly the greatest pop movie ever made.
From the opening frame to the last one, this film has everything.
The acting at times can be embarassingly amateur, but this just adds to the charm of a film that has a killer soundtrack.
Every musical set piece is flawless, with Prince setting the stage alight.
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