Happy Birthday, Prince! Let's Look at Your 'Best' Film Work
Prince, who just wrapped up an amazing 21-night concert stint in L.A., turns 53 today! That means Movieline is honoring His Royal Badness's purple reign with clips from his fiercest and sometimes most insane films. We're even throwing in "Batdance" because we love you.
Purple Rain's surprising violence
It's almost hard to imagine a world where Purple Rain, a movie about an up and coming rock-'n-roller named The Kid, is a worldwide sensation. Twenty-seven years later, the movie's soundtrack remains the best of all time, even if the melodrama within Prince's family (as embedded below) is hilarious. Just watch as Prince bobbles into his home, his dark mane bouncing like Rowlf from The Muppets, only to receive a slap and some major foley art from his father.
Prince's royally polite Oscar speech
For a performer who mostly eschewed award shows, Prince gave a surprisingly humble, straightforward, and grateful acceptance speech upon winning Best Original Song Score at the 1985 Oscars. Wendy and Lisa flanked him, of course, but the show-stealing guest-star here is Prince's glittery hood. Looks like a thief in Dorothy Chandler's temple!
Under the Cherry Moon's black-and-white bizarreness
As a concerned promoter of Bad Movies We Love, I encourage you to think of this movie more often. Prince directed this cinematic disaster (as if you couldn't tell by the "Raspberry Beret"-licious edits), daring to cast himself as a gigolo and engage in salty badinage with stuffy ladies. Explain to me your reaction when you hear Prince yell, "Cabbage head!" I think I'm... emotionally bereft?
Kristin Scott Thomas's auspicious debut in Under the Cherry Moon
Judging by the appearance of Kristin Scott Thomas and Prince's Bambi resemblance, we should really call this movie The Fawn Whisperer. Here, Prince and Thomas exchange barbs in a car before Prince darts off to compliment himself. Typical Purple One!
Sign 'O' the Times messes with Ebert's mind
Prince's 1987 concert film Sign 'O' the Times is a delirious good time, thanks in part to the appearance of the brilliant Sheila E. Here are amateur musicologists Siskel and Ebert to explain Prince's majesty, and fear not, they conclude with some of their signature teasing. We still miss Gene 'round these parts!
Trolling under a Graffiti Bridge
Time seems to have forgotten that Graffiti Bridge is a direct sequel to Purple Rain, but we'll never forget its corniness and delicious soundtrack.
Prince's "Batdance" with a blockbuster
And finally, from the soundtrack to Batman, I give you "Batdance." Prince only wrote six #1 hits in his massive career, and this is one of them! I assume Heath Ledger took a few hints from Prince's unhinged showmanship here.
[Photo: Getty Images]