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A brilliant, talented young musician struggles for success even as a rival musician threatens to supplant him, both professionally and romantically. "Purple Rain" features Prince, in his own inimitable style, performing many of his latest hits, including "Purple Rain," "When Doves Cry," and "Let's Go Crazy." Academy Awards: Best Original Song Score.
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Albert Magnoli directed this ragged but effective 1984 drama (with lots of musical interludes) starring (the artist formerly known as) Prince as a Minneapolis musician whose ego is his biggest obstacle to fame and love. In the backdrop is a strong story about the character's violent family life and a father made monstrous by broken dreams. Prince's film debut as an actor is not bad at all, and he is surrounded by a few people (Apollonia Kotero, Morris Day, and members of his own band) for whom he has served as a mentor in real life. The music is loud and good: "When Doves Cry," "Purple Rain," "Let's Go Crazy"--you remember the soundtrack. --Tom Keogh
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