PURPLE RAIN
1984, Warner Bros., 111 min, Dir: Albert Magnoli

Prince ascended to superstardom with his big-screen debut as The Kid, frontman of rock-R&B band The Revolution. Burdened with a troubled home life, The Kid also must contend with a rival bandleader (a wonderfully charismatic Morris Day) out to steal both his slot at a Minneapolis nightclub and his new girlfriend (Apollonia Kotero). Given the setting, there are plenty of electrifying performances here, and Prince’s Oscar-winning score includes such classics as “Let's Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry” and the title song.


THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE
1983, Universal, 112 min, Dir: Wilford Leach

Much of producer Joseph Papp’s 1981 Broadway cast – including Rex Smith, Linda Ronstadt and Tony winner Kevin Kline – reprise their roles in this magical big screen adaptation of the beloved Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera. Angela Lansbury joins them as Ruth, the nursemaid who entrusts Frederic (Smith) to the Pirate King (Kline) until his 21st birthday, at which point Frederic meets and falls in love with the beautiful Mabel Stanley (Ronstadt) – but leaving the Pirates of Penzance proves trickier than he anticipated.


COVER GIRL
1944, Sony Repertory, 107 min, USA, Dir: Charles Vidor

Rita Hayworth is a popular hoofer at Gene Kelly’s Brooklyn nightclub, but has always dreamed of stardom on Broadway; opportunity knocks when a rich publisher who’d been in love with her grandmother makes her a magazine cover girl – but will she turn her back on her old friends? With gorgeous Technicolor cinematography, terrific dance numbers and comic relief from Phil Silvers and Eve Arden, COVER GIRL is nonstop entertainment, and propelled Hayworth and Kelly to stardom. Originally opened at Radio City Music Hall during Easter week, 1944.


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