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]


  • Gata says:

    I liked "Under The Cherry Moon" immensely. I also liked "Purple Rain", the others not so much. I don't think I even watched the others. Prince, MJ, and I were born in the same year. (that has no relevance to this conversation - LOL). HAPPY B'DAY PRINCE.

  • Louis Virtel says:

    You're leaving out Madonna! A fellow '58er!

  • Gata says:

    Hey Louis Virtel - I suppose I didn't know Madonna was born in '58. I thought she was younger...

  • superman3077 says:

    the person who wrote this article obviously isn't a prince fan. it's funny you talk about his "film" work but you leave out his genius gift of music. not to mention for being 53 years "young", i'd venture to say he looks better and is in better condition than you ever could be!