Graffiti Bridge (film)

Graffiti Bridge is a 1990 American rock musical drama film written by, directed by, and starring Prince in his fourth and final film role. It is the sequel to his 1984 film Purple Rain. Like its predecessor, it was accompanied by a soundtrack album of the same name.[2]

Graffiti Bridge
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPrince
Produced byArnold Stiefel
Randy Phillips
Written byPrince
Music byPrince
CinematographyBill Butler
Edited byRebecca Ross
Paisley Park Films
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • November 2, 1990 (1990-11-02)
Running time
90 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$4.6 million


The plot continues with The Kid, living future life as an upbeat performer and co-owner of a club, Glam Slam, which was willed to him from Billy, who was the owner of First Avenue Club in the first film. Solitary and lovelorn, he spends his personal time composing songs, and writing letters to his deceased father. The other co-owner who was included in the will is Morris (Morris Day), his rival who now also owns his own club, Pandemonium, while desiring control of the other two clubs in the Seven Corners area, which are Melody Cool and the Clinton Club. Needing to pay the mayor of Seven Corners $10,000, Morris attempts to extort The Kid – by threatening to take full ownership of Glam Slam. Making matters more interesting is the arrival of Aura, an angel sent from Heaven to sway both Morris and The Kid into leading more righteous lives – while dealing with their attraction to her. As The Kid continues to show resistance, Morris begins to embarrass him by way of performances with his band, to steal The Kid's customers. Losing clientele and having his club defamed by Morris's henchmen, The Kid decides to challenge Morris to a music battle for ownership of Glam Slam.



According to Terry Lewis, the film was originally a vehicle for The Time, but "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 explained: "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. He changes our hearts and minds and makes us into good, church-going individuals with a song [laughs]."[3]


The film is tied into the album of the same name, which spawned the chart-making singles, "Round and Round" and "New Power Generation", as well as "Thieves in the Temple". Despite the film receiving lukewarm responses from audiences, the accompanying album fared better. Although there were many tracks, the following ones were selected for the album to appear in listed order within the film, although several songs appear in shorter and rearranged lengths.

  • "Can't Stop This Feeling I Got" – Prince (rearranged instrumental)
  • "New Power Generation" – Prince and New Power Generation
  • "Release It" – The Time
  • "We Can Funk" – Prince featuring George Clinton and Rosie Gaines
  • "Elephants & Flowers" – Prince
  • "Round and Round" – Tevin Campbell
  • "Joy in Repetition" – Prince
  • "Love Machine" – The Time & Elisa Fiorillo
  • "Thieves in the Temple" – Prince
  • "The Question of U" – Prince
  • "Shake!" - The Time
  • "Tick, Tick, Bang" – Prince
  • "Melody Cool" – Mavis Staples
  • "Still Would Stand All Time" – Prince


The film was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Prince), Worst Director (Prince), Worst Screenplay (Prince), and Worst New Star (Ingrid Chavez).

Despite media hype of it being the sequel to the massively successful Purple Rain, it was a commercial and critical failure and was included on several Worst-of-1990 movie lists. Graffiti Bridge currently holds a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 27 reviews, with an average rating of 3.7/10.[4]

However, the corresponding original soundtrack received widespread critical acclaim with glowing reviews from Rolling Stone's Paul Evans,[5] Entertainment Weekly's Greg Sandow,[6] and the Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot, the latter stating that the album was "a sprawling, wildly diffuse statement on love, sin, sex and salvation that ranks with his best work."[7] In his review, Evans wrote that Prince

... has mustered a subversive triumph, making records half-brilliant, half-quirky, managing the Minneapolis scene with the ghost hand of a funky Gatsby, deploying an army-harem of disciples and flashing a dazzle of guises unified in their harlequin outrageousness. By the very promiscuity of these bold strategies, he has inseminated the whole of pop. With Graffiti Bridge and its firm coalescence of his styles and concerns, Prince reasserts his originality — and does it with the ease of a conqueror.[8]

The title "Graffiti Bridge" comes from a now torn-down bridge located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The bridge was torn down in the early 1990s to make way for new construction,[9] but to this day remains a local legend.

Home media

Graffiti Bridge was released on DVD on February 8, 2005.[10] The film was released on Blu-ray for the first time on October 4, 2016 separately in a purple case[11] and as part of the Prince Movie Collection.[12]


  1. "GRAFFITI BRIDGE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. December 10, 1990. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  2. The Washington Post
  3. Select, December 1990
  4. "Graffiti Bridge (1990)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
  5. Evans, Paul Prince: Graffiti Bridge (Sdtrk), Rolling Stone, August 23, 1990.
  6. Sandow, Greg Graffiti Bridge, Entertainment Weekly, August 31, 1990.
  7. Kot, Greg Graffiti Bridge: In His New Album Prince Seeks To Cross Into Sexual Utopia, The Chicago Tribune, August 23, 1990.
  8. Evans, Paul Prince: Graffiti Bridge (Sdtrk), Rolling Stone, August 23, 1990.
  9. The New York Times, Lovers of Graffiti Rally to Save an Old Bridge, The New York Times, February 25, 1990.
  10. "Graffiti Bridge [DVD]". Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  11. "Graffiti Bridge Blu-ray". Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  12. "Purple Rain / Graffiti Bridge / Under the Cherry Moon (BD) (3pk) [Blu-ray]". Retrieved December 5, 2016.
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