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Purple Rain

For Prince fans, this movie will be a must for videocassette purchase, but even they will have to deal with the sexist way women are treated by all the film's male characters. Prince plays the Kid, a temperamental singer in Minneapolis. He likes Apollonia, a young woman who also wants to be a star, and his rival is Morris (scene-stealer Morris Day, real-life lead singer for the now-defunct band the Time). Ladies' man Morris is a bit of a fool but wise enough to give Apollonia the chance to showcase her own act, something the Kid is reluctant to do. Torn between her attraction to the Kid and Morris' offer, she lets both men exploit her as her ego gets in the way of her good sense. The Kid, meanwhile, has a terrible home life, with an abusive father and masochistic mother. Trying to stop the beatings, he only gets pounded himself for his efforts (with the theme of woman being the property of man, to be handled any way man desires, grotesquely repeated throughout the movie). The Kid eventually seduces Apollonia with his inimitably sexy music, but she agrees to sing with Morris anyway, hurting the Kid's feelings and prompting him to knock her around. After he is fired from the club where he works and Apollonia finally gets her chance to sing her show-stopping "Sex Shooter," the pair are united once more, only to break up again after some more slapping around. He rides off on his beloved motorcycle and gets home in time to stop his father from committing suicide. It all ends with the Kid's triumphant return to the stage to perform "Purple Rain" and "I Would Die 4 U," his manic-depressive character redeemed by music and love. The concert scenes, photographed by Donald Thorin and brilliantly lit by Leroy Bennett, are among the best in the film and will stand as the rock footage of the 1980s. If you like Prince's music, you'll love this movie. If not, stay away. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song Score.