No one can argue that Prince had a remarkable influence on music. His songs are powerful and passionate and that emotion also translated well on the big screen.
Whether it was an original or a cover, his songs have made over a hundred appearances in movies and television shows over the past forty years.
Sometimes, just the actor in the scene was singing a Prince tune, without the song actually playing. This makes it even more special because it shows that everyone loves a good Prince song.
Here are the best of the best when it comes to Prince music being used in cinema.
Most of the music in this sequel to Purple Rain was taken from earlier recordings and sessions, and ‘New Power Generation’ and ‘Round And Round’ were the only songs recorded specifically for the movie. The movie wasn’t the biggest hit but the soundtrack was loved by critics and fans alike, and topped at #6 in the US.
Prince’s D.M.S.R. was perfect for the college interview scene. This was one of the earliest roles for Tom Cruise and his character Joel had big, Ivy League dreams. In this scene, he’s being interviewed for college during a raging party at his out-of-town parent’s house. You can hear D.M.S.R. throughout. The song is from the album 1999 which went to #9 in 1982 and charted again in 2016 at #7.
Under The Cherry Moon
This movie is a departure from Prince’s other movie styles. In black and white, full of beautiful women, beautiful cars, beautiful clothes and classic sophistication; the movie is still full of Prince’s bold life, personality and music. The soundtrack album, Parade, topped at #2 in the US and was the last album with The Revolution as his backing band.
This is one of my favorite scenes from this movie and maybe movies in general. It’s one thing to have a Prince song playing in the background but this scene takes it a step farther and has Vivian (Julia Roberts) singing Kiss while listening to it in headphones, in a bubble bath. This is another song from the Parade album (the soundtrack to Under The Cherry Moon), and it went to #1 in 1986.
The flying crime fighter never looked funkier than in this 1989 movie with Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Prince’s soundtrack to the movie perfectly captured the chaotic mind of the Joker character.
“The Song of the Heart” is a song written and performed by Prince for the 2006 film Happy Feet. The song came about when Prince was approached to allow his song “Kiss” to appear in the film. Prince was initially hesitant to sign off on its use, but agreed to watch the film before he made a final decision. Executives from He enjoyed the film so much that he agreed to the use of “Kiss” and offered to write a new song for the movie.
This movie by far captured the true meaning of Prince’s music, more than any other. The movie was loosely based on Prince’s life experience with family and his musical beginnings. Purple Rain is remembered for it’s music and produced four Top 40 hits, but it is the boldest act of his career. Purple Rain may not be an autobiography, but it may be as close as we’ll get to his true story.