Today in film history, November 2, 1990, “Graffiti Bridge,” a sequel of sorts to “Purple Rain,”written by, directed by, and starring Prince in his final film role, was released in USA theaters by Warner Bros. In “Graffiti Bridge,” the late artist formerly known as Prince struggles musically with Morris Day for control of the nightclub that the two co-own.
And nearly timed with the film’s 26 year anniversary, Warner Home Video released a new 3-disc blu-ray set just less than a month ago (October 4) that includes the 3 feature films the artist made for the studio – “Purple Rain, “Under the Cherry Moon” and “Graffiti Bridge.”
Though it might look like a cash-grab, exploiting the death of the music icon, it’s very possible that this set was already in the works long before Prince died earlier this year; and though “Purple Rain” (which was previously released on blu-ray in 2007) is considered by many to be Prince’s cinematic classic, “Under the Cherry Moon” (1986) , which was written and directed by Prince, has developed something of a real cult following, and definitely has its admirers.
However “Graffiti Bridge” (1990) – also written and directed by Prince – and which was a sort of unofficial sequel to “Purple Rain,” unfortunately few fans seem to like. But of course, there is always the incredible music.
All three blu-rays feature brand new 1080 high definition transfers which is especially good news for “Purple Rain”, since the previous 2007 release was considered sub-par; meanwhile both “Under the Cherry Moon” and “Graffiti Bridge” have never been released on blu-ray before. And unfortunately, neither features any special extras (except for their trailers), which is especially sad since one would’ve loved to listen to Prince’s commentary about what he wanted to accomplish in those films.
Although, according to Terry Lewis in a 1990 interview with the now defunct Select (magazine), “Graffiti Bridge” specifically was originally a vehicle for The Time, but, as he stated, “in the end the story got lost and it became a Prince picture. But that was cool. I think our rapport with Prince is better now than it’s ever been, because there’s a mutual respect in the air… Plus we got to hang out for six months on somebody else’s budget.”
Morris Day would add in the same interview about “Graffiti Bridge”: “A sequel to ‘Purple Rain’ is what it ended up being. And the role that The Time plays is, well, crooks. In ‘Purple Rain’ we were small time crooks and now we’ve graduated to the big time. We own and control this area called Seven Corners – which is really four corners and four clubs – and everyone answers to us. It’s really about the rivalry between us and The Kid (Prince), who is the picked-on, felt-sorry-for hero. But in the end he gets the girl and he beats us with a ballad.”
The “Purple Rain” disc does feature a whole host of extras carried over from the original sub-par blu-ray release years ago, including an audio commentary by director Albert Magnoli, producer Robert Cavallo and cinematographer Donald E. Thorin. Other extras include: “First Avenue: The Road to Pop Royalty” – a visit the nightclub where Prince started; “Purple Rain Backstage Pass” – behind the scenes footage; “Riffs, Ruffles and a Revolution: The Impact and Influence of Purple Rain”; the MTV Premiere Party Original Broadcast; and 8 music videos: “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Take Me With U,” “When Doves Cry,” ” Would Die 4 U/Baby I’m a Star,” “Purple Rain,” “Jungle Love,” “The Bird” and “Sex Shooter.”
Check out the original trailer for “Graffiti Bridge below” and then click here to pick up a copy of the 3-disc blu-ray that includes the film, which Warner Bros released last month: