Under the Cherry Moon

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Under the Cherry Moon
Under the cherry moon.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPrince
Produced by
  • Robert Cavallo
  • Joseph Ruffalo
  • Steven Fargnoli
Screenplay byBecky Johnston
Music byPrince and The Revolution
CinematographyMichael Ballhaus
Edited by
  • Éva Gárdos
  • Rebecca Ross
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • July 2, 1986 (1986-07-02)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$10.1 million[2]

Under the Cherry Moon is a 1986 American musical film directed by and starring Prince in his directorial debut. The film also stars former The Time member Jerome Benton, Steven Berkoff, Kristin Scott Thomas (in her feature film debut), and Francesca Annis. The film was a critical and commercial failure, winning five Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, tying with Howard the Duck. But, despite that, its soundtrack album, entitled Parade, went platinum, selling over a million copies.


Gigolos Christopher Tracy (Prince) and his cousin, Tricky (Jerome Benton), swindle wealthy French women. The situation gets complicated when Christopher falls in love with heiress Mary Sharon (Kristin Scott Thomas) after planning to swindle her when he finds out that she receives a $50 million trust fund on her 21st birthday. Mary's father Isaac disapproves of the romance and provides an excellent adversary for Christopher. Christopher rivals his cousin Tricky for the affection of Mary.



Filming started at the Victorine Studios in Nice, France on September 14, 1985 directed by Mary Lambert, the director behind some of Madonna's and Janet Jackson's most popular music videos, but after disagreements about the film's direction, she left the production on November 4 after 16 days of filming and Prince took over directing himself.[3] Lambert is listed as a creative consultant in the film's credits.[4]

The cast was also changed during pre-production. Prince originally had planned to have Susannah Melvoin (sister of Revolution member Wendy Melvoin, as well as Prince's girlfriend at the time) play Mary Sharon, but it was clear she couldn't act and was replaced by Kristin Scott Thomas (in her feature debut).[5]


Under the Cherry Moon, along with its soundtrack album, marked the first of many recorded collaborations between Prince and jazz keyboardist/composer-arranger Clare Fischer, whose orchestral arrangements had by this time become much in demand by pop and R&B acts, stemming from his initial arrangements for Rufus and Chaka Khan in the early 1970s.[6][7] Appearing in the credits as "Orchestra Composed and Arranged by...," Fischer's contribution was further acknowledged by Prince in both the film's closing titles and the album's liner notes:

With special thanks
2 Clare Fischer 4 Making Brighter the Colors
Black and White [8]


Box office[edit]

Under the Cherry Moon failed to gain any breakout audience, regardless of much pre-publicity including a special MTV premiere in Sheridan, Wyoming. It was held there after a fan won a contest to have the film shown in her hometown.[9] The film earned $3,150,924 in its opening weekend from 976 venues, ranking #11 at the domestic box office (according to the Daily Variety Chart), and the fourth-highest among the weekend's new releases.[10] At the end of its run, the film's final domestic gross was $10,090,429.[2]

Critical response[edit]

The film received generally negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it currently holds a 36% score based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 3.86/10. The site's consensus states: "Under the Cherry Moon may satisfy the most rabid Prince fans, but everyone else will be better served with this vanity project's far superior soundtrack."[11]

In 2016, Peter Sobczynski, writing for Roger Ebert's website, wrote a reappraisal of Under the Cherry Moon, calling it a better film than Purple Rain, and stating that the film's negative reception at the time had been the result of people expecting this film to be like Prince's previous film.[12]


The film was a multiple winner at the 7th Golden Raspberry Awards, winning five awards. The categories were: Worst Picture (tied with Howard the Duck), Worst Actor and Worst Director (Prince), Worst Supporting Actor (Jerome Benton), and Worst Original Song ("Love or Money"). It was also nominated for Worst Supporting Actress and Worst New Star (Kristin Scott Thomas), and Worst Screenplay.[13]

The film was also nominated for a Stinkers Bad Movie Award for Worst Picture.[14]

Home media[edit]

Under the Cherry Moon was first released on DVD on February 8, 2005.[15] The film was released on Blu-ray for the first time on October 4, 2016 separately in a purple case[16] and as part of the Prince Movie Collection.[17]


  1. ^ "UNDER THE CHERRY MOON (15)". British Board of Film Classification. July 31, 1986. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Under the Cherry Moon (1986)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  3. ^ Clark, Ted (November 6, 1985). "Lambert Takes Hike As 'Moon' Director; Prince Now At Helm". Variety. p. 4.
  4. ^ Cieply, Michael (March 11, 1988). "A Fired Woman Film Director--New Questions, Issue Continues". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Draper, Jason (2008). Prince: Life & Times. Jawbone Press. Retrieved January 2, 2008.
  6. ^ Thorne, Matt (2012). Prince. London: Faber & Faber, p. 117. ISBN 9780571273492. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  7. ^ Draper, Jason (2011). Prince: Chaos, Disorder and Revolution. New York: Backbeat Books, p. 112. ISBN 9781458429414. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  8. ^ Clare Fischer Filmography: Thanks. IMDb. Retrieved December 2, 2014. See also:
  9. ^ Durkee, Cutler (July 21, 1986). "Prince Charming". People. 26 (3). Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  10. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for July 4–6, 1986". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. July 7, 1986. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  11. ^ "Under the Cherry Moon (1986)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  12. ^ https://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/new-position-a-defense-of-under-the-cherry-moon
  13. ^ "1986 Archive". Razzies.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012.
  14. ^ "1986 9th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinkers Awards". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  15. ^ "Under the Cherry Moon [DVD]". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  16. ^ "Under the Cherry Moon [Blu-ray]". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "Purple Rain / Graffiti Bridge / Under the Cherry Moon (BD) (3pk) [Blu-ray]". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.

External links[edit]