Like any great artist, Prince Rogers Nelson dabbled in movies. But he was picky. His songs were used in dozens and dozens of movies, but they weren’t always the biggest hits. Sometimes he preferred a hands-on approach rather than casually signing over his work to be used by others. He even directed three features, including the 1987 concert movie “Sign ‘o’ the Times.”
In honor of Prince, who passed away at 57, here are six films in which Prince had a hand, sometimes more.
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‘Summer Lovers’ (1982)
The first film to use the Sexy MF was seriously sexy. It was the tale of two Americans (Darryl Hannah and Peter Gallagher) and a French woman (Valerie Quennessen) who start a menage a trois — pretty much the perfect way for Prince to enter the movies. It only used two of his songs — “Sexy Dancer,” from his self-titled second album, and “Sexuality,” off of “Controversy” — amidst a soundtrack including The Pointer Sisters, Chicago, Depeche Mode and Tina Turner. But you gotta start somewhere, and a movie about naked pretty people is a good place to plant his seed.
‘Purple Rain’ (1984)
Enough ink has been spilled about Prince’s bid for movie superstardom, which became one of the year’s biggest hits — and inevitably caused the prophetic taste-makers at the Razzies to name him 1984’s “Worst New Star.” It’s long been de rigueur to crap on his two follow-ups, both of which he directed, in addition to headlining. But you’ve got to love that he chased a monster moneymaker with 1986’s “Under the Cherry Moon,” a black-and-white ode to the French New Wave co-starring no less than a young Kristin Scott Thomas. Once seen as a vanity ego stroke, it’s slowly started to be reclaimed. Maybe one day the same will happen to 1990’s “Graffiti Bridge.”