Thirty-four years ago, today, July 27, 1984, the film Purple Rain, was released by Warner Bros. It was the acting debut of Prince, who portrayed "The Kid", a role he reprized in the film Graffiti Bridge. The budget for the film was $7.2 million; the box office receipts was ten times that.
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The film also starred Apollonia Kotero the lead singer of Apollonia 6, Morris Day of The Time, Greek actress Olga Karlatos and Clarence Williams III of The Mod Squad. Williams portrayed the father of the "The Kid" (Prince) character. It's interesting to note that almost every character in the movie is named after the actor who plays him or her.
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Purple Rain was written by Albert Magnoli and William Blinn, and produced by Prince's managers Robert Cavallo, Joseph Ruffalo and Steven Fargnoli. Prince developed the concept during his 1999 Tour. The original script by Blinn was darker. Later Magnoli was brought aboard and rewrote it. The film was directed and edited by Magnoli in his feature film directorial debut.
Prince intended to cast Vanity, leader of the girl group Vanity 6, but she left the group before filming began. After the character change from Vanity to Apollonia, the script was drastically revised, and many dark scenes were cut. Some of these scenes include Prince and Apollonia having sex in a barn (a concept which was the story behind the 1985 song Raspberry Beret); Prince going to Apollonia 6's rehearsal and engaging in a physical fight with the members of The Time; and a scene which featured Prince's mother talking to him about her shaky relationship with his father. In addition, many scenes such as the "Lake Minnetonka" scene, Apollonia first meeting Morris, and the railyard scene were cut down because of time constraints. Many clips from these scenes were featured, however, in the trailer for the movie as well as the "When Doves Cry" montage.
The film is tied into the album of the same name, which spawned two chart-topping singles, When Doves Cry and the opening number Let's Go Crazy, as well as Purple Rain, which reached number two. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. The soundtrack sold over 15 million copies in America alone, and 25 million worldwide. The film also coincided with spin-off albums by The Time (Ice Cream Castle) and Apollonia 6 (their self-titled album).
The film was a box office success, grossing $68,392,977 in the United States. It won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score, currently the last to receive the award. It was nominated for two Razzie Awards: Worst New Star for Apollonia Kotero and Worst Original Song for Sex Shooter.
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