Purple Rain – Previous Script

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      About William Blinn and the script that was “Dreams” before it became the famous “Purple Rain”.

      WILLIAM BLINN KNEW NOTHING ABOUT PRINCE, REALLY, when he was approached roughly two years ago about writing the script for a very vaguely conceived movie in which the singer would star. But Blinn, a mild, middle-aged man who’d written such Emmy-winning tube fare as Brian’s Song and a Roots segment, had reason to be interested in the task, proffered by Prince’s management company, Cavallo, Ruffalo and Fargnoli. At the time, Blinn was executive producer of the Fame series, and there was some doubt as to whether it would be renewed for a third season. A screenplay would be a handy diversion. What did the managers have in mind, exactly?

      That was unclear. Prince had been jotting down ideas in a purple notebook for some time, and one night out on the road, he told Steve Fargnoli: this is great and all, but there must be something else. He wanted to do a movie. Unfortunately, Fargnoli knew little about the moviemaking business. With his partners, Bob Cavallo and Joe Buffalo, he managed music acts, including such major attractions as Weather Report and Earth, Wind and Fire. But Prince was the one. they all knew it. Prince could do anything: why not a movie? Fargnoli shopped the pitch around to some major studios — got a black kid here who most ticket-buying citizens have never heard of who wants to make a movie about himself with some friends in Minneapolis — and got a lot of laughs. But he was unfazed. The managers would finance the film themselves. But they needed a script.

      Blinn first met with Prince and Fargnoli at an Italian restaurant in Hollywood. He immediately knew there’d be strange days ahead. “I never met anyone in the world who ordered spaghetti with tomato sauce and orange juice to drink,” he recalls. “He’s definitely got his own drummer going.” As they talked about the movie, Blinn found that Prince was “not conversationally accessible. He’s not purposefully face-to-the-wall, but casual conversation is not what he’s good at. It was as if I asked someone what they wanted for dinner, and they said they weren’t sure, but they’d like it to have some tomatoes in it, and some beef, and some onions. And I’d say, ‘I think we’re talking about beef stew here.'”

      During a meeting at Prince’s home — a purple but otherwise unremarkable two-story affair situated on a lake in a well-to-do suburb several miles southwest of Minneapolis — Blinn realized that an important part of the story Prince was trying to formulate concerned his father, John L. Nelson, a piano player who had led a Minneapolis jazz trio in the Fifties under the name Prince Rogers. Nelson had separated from his wife, a singer, when Prince was seven, leaving a piano behind for his son to learn to play. The father, who reportedly still lived in Minneapolis, obviously remained a troubling figure.

      “He was semicommunicative about his dad,” says Blinn. “He played me some of his father’s music on the piano, and when he played, and when he talked about his father’s life, you could tell that his father is very key in what he’s about. It was as if he were sorting out his own mystery — an honest quest to figure himself out. He saved all the money on shrinks and put it in the movie.”

      Blinn began pounding out a script called Dreams, a dark story in which the parents of the Kid — the character to be played by Prince — were both dead, the mother dispatched by the father, who in turn killed himself. Prince’s Minneapolis music scene was in there, too, and so was the beautiful Vanity, lead crumpet with Vanity 6. Born in Ontario of Scottish and Eurasian parents (her original name was Denise Matthews), Vanity had been a model and sometime nudie actress who, under the name D.D. Winters, appeared in such Canadian-made films of the early Eighties as Terror Train and Tanya’s Island. Vanity was also Prince’s girlfriend — or one of them — and in Dreams, she was to play the stabilizing influence in the Kid’s otherwise chaotic life.

      Blinn’s story was beginning to sound very much like Prince’s life. Following his parents’ breakup, Prince had been bounced from mother to father to an aunt and finally, at age thirteen, of his own volition, into the home of Mrs. Bernadette Anderson, the mother of his best (and at the time, she says, only) friend. Prince and André Anderson had both attended a local Seventh-Day Adventist church as young children, and they shared a consuming interest in music. It was with André (and a young drummer named Morris Day) that Prince organized his first band. Grand Central. “Music is obviously a cloak and a shield and a whole bunch of things for him,” says Blinn. “It’s a womb.”

      Halfway through the second draft of Dreams, Prince told Blinn he wanted the word purple in the title. “At first, I thought it was a kind of strange request,” Blinn says. “But he really identifies with purple. There’s a whole dark, passionate, foreboding quality to the color and to what he does. Yet there’s a certain royalty to it, too.”

      After finishing a second draft of the script, Blinn got word that Fame had been renewed for a third season, and so he returned to television-land, leaving the Prince management team with a script of sorts, but no director. After seeing a film called Reckless, they approached its young director, James Foley, and asked if he’d be interested in Purple Rain. He wasn’t, but he recommended his friend, Al Magnoli, who had edited Reckless.

      At first, the thirty-one-year-old Magnoli wasn’t interested. Nevertheless, he agreed to meet with Bob Cavallo for breakfast one morning. Cavallo asked him what he thought the Prince team should do. Magnoli tried to be helpful. “I said, “This is what I would do’ — and right there I told him the entire story. It just came out. I knew they had this character Prince, the script had introduced me to this other character, Morris, and I knew that there was a girl in the middle. So it was like: where do you go with this? And I said Prince should do this, and Morris should do this, and Vanity should be this kind of girl and not this other thing in the script. And then the mother and father — and all of a sudden the world was shaped. And within ten minutes, I had convinced myself that this would be an extremely exciting film to make.”

      Cavallo liked what he heard, and Magnoli felt the stirrings of a buzz. He agreed to fly to Minneapolis. “The minute I met Prince, I realized that I hadn’t gone far enough. That because of the nature of this person, I could go much further into the private sort of area. We had dinner, and he let me speak for about twenty-five minutes, and I began working off what was emanating from him. And I got very involved with the parents at that point: the father became a musician, the mother became sort of a woman wandering the streets, things like that. I was just basically watching the person in front of me, just feeling what that was all about. And at the end, he said okay, let’s take a ride. So we took a ride, and he looked at me and he said, ‘I don’t get it. This is the first time I’ve met you, but you’ve told me more about what I’ve experienced than anybody in my life.'”

      Magnoli told Prince that if he was willing to reveal the emotional truths of this material, of the character that they would create, then the movie could be made. Prince agreed, so Magnoli went to Minneapolis for a month and hung out with the people who would populate the film: Prince and his band (now to be called the Revolution), Morris Day and his group, the Time, the women in Vanity 6. Then he locked himself in a room for three weeks and completely rewrote Blinn’s script.

      …read more

      Source: Rolling Stone


        NOTE: Let me state ahead of time, that I am not certain of this script to be entirely accurate. I’ve obtained this script from a website and I did not check the authenticity of it. I thought it was an interesting read–being the reason for sharing the script here. The script is located at: IMSDB and I first learn of the script from the Prince Org community. There’s content in the script that may not be suitable for children–viewer/reader discretion is advised. Enjoy the read!

        P U R P L E R A I N

        by Albert Magnoli

        Formerly Dreams by William Blinn

        Scanned & Edited by lovesexy

        Cyber published by P.L.T.T.


          (1) Black Screen

          SOUND under: MUSIC building in INTENSITY

          Dearly beloved,
          We are gathered here today
          To get through this thing
          called life.
          Electric word life,
          It means forever and that’s a
          mighty long time.
          But I’m here to tell you that
          there’s something else — The

          Then huge CU of EYES opening, gazing
          into mirror, HAND applying makeup,
          sudden BLACKNESS, then–

          That’s right…a world of
          never-ending happiness,
          You can always see the sun —
          Day or night.



            So when you call up that
            shrink in Beverly Hills,
            You know the one — Doctor
            Everything’ll Be Alright–
            Instead of asking him how much
            of your mind is left,
            Ask him how much of your time,
            `Cause in this life,
            Things are much harder than in
            the afterworld,
            In this life, You’re on your

            Now, pulsating COLOR — FLASHES of hot,
            white LIGHT…

            And if de-elevator tries to
            bring you down,
            Go crazy, punch a higher

            and the BEAT provocative now,
            relentless, BUILDING with fierce intent

            (2) INT. CLUB (1ST AVE. ST. BAR) — NIGHT

            The MECCA! The last stop for a band
            before national fame.

            The HUGE cavernous HALL is PACKED!
            PEOPLE are DANCING like MAD! VIDEO
            SCREENS with WILD GRAPHICS hang
            suspended from the ceilings. Beautiful
            WAITRESSES criss-cross the floor in a

            PRINCE is CENTER-STAGE — LIPS caressing
            the mike, black, lustrous hair shining,
            eyes dancing — SINGING “Let’s Get
            Crazy” as the CROWD pulsates beneath the
            LASER LIGHTS.

            The MUSIC continues as we …


              CUT TO:

              (3) EXT. STREETS #1 — NIGHT

              A TAXI pulls UP with a SCREECH. VANITY
              slouches in the backseat. Black boots,
              black skin-tight pants, and a mane of
              thick, black hair presents a beautiful
              and imposing figure. Her eyes are
              large and dark — her look open and
              ripe. She knows what she’s got, and
              doesn’t make any excuses for it — but
              the fact is she’s scared as hell,
              possessing a vulnerability that
              surprises her by its suddenness. An
              expensive gold chain is fastened on one

              She scrounges through her bag — pulls
              out her remaining cash. It’s drastically
              short of what she owes and she knows it.
              She tosses it onto the front seat,
              JUMPS from the cab, streaks across the
              street. The CABBIE lets out a YELL and
              JUMPS out after her.

              “Let’s Get Crazy” continues as we …

              CUT TO:

              (4) INT. SHOWER, MORRIS’ APT. — NIGHT

              MORRIS DAY stands in the shower, steam
              whirling about his face. He’s 22 years
              old, matinee-idol sexy with large, dark,
              bedroom eyes. He headlines a slick
              techno-funk group called THE TIME which
              sports gangster suits and wide-brimmed
              hats. He’s gifted with a wealth of self-
              laudatory humor which he uses like a
              knife, moving through life with a calm,
              but ruthless grace.

              Make no mistake, Morris is nobody’s
              fool. His seeming out-raucousness, his
              charm — every move he makes is for a
              calculated effect. He knows exactly


                what the ladies need, and doesn’t mind
                reminding them should they forget …

                He breaks into a wide grin. Hair
                standing up like Don King, he wipes off
                a hand mirror, regards himself
                unabashedly as he brushes his teeth.

                “Let’s Get Crazy” continues as we…

                CUT TO:

                (5) INT. BASEMENT, PRINCE’S HOME — NIGHT

                Prince sits in front of the mirror,
                finishes applying his makeup. Black
                hair flowing, eyes wide and fantastic,
                he regards himself a moment before
                jumping up. He puts on a high-collared
                overcoat, grabs his guitar moves
                quickly to the basement window. He
                hoists himself through it, disappears
                into the night.

                “Let’s Get Crazy” continues as we …

                CUT TO:

                (6) EXT. CORNER, STREETS #1 — NIGHT

                A POLICE CAR, lights FLASHING, sits at
                the curb. A small CROWD has gathered
                about. The Cabbie stands on the
                sidewalk gesticulating angrily to a COP.
                Vanity stands by the police car,
                obviously board, another COP by her
                side. Her eyes are fastened on a good-
                looking BUSINESSMAN standing nearby…

                A silent negotiation seems to be going
                on. Understanding wafts between them
                like a passing breeze.

                Without taking his eyes off her, the
                Businessman approaches the Cabbie,
                starts talking …


                  “Let’s Get Crazy” continues as we…

                  CUT TO:

                  (7) INT. MORRIS’ BEDROOM — NIGHT

                  Morris moves lasciviously into the
                  BEDROOM wearing a red muscle T-shirt,
                  orange baggy shorts, and green knee-hi
                  socks fastened to garters. A yellow
                  bandanna holds up his hair.

                  The bedroom is a MESS. A VACUUM CLEANER
                  stands like a sentry in the middle of
                  the floor. He turns it on, blazes a
                  path to his closet. He yanks out a well-
                  pressed suit, holds it against him,
                  strikes a sexy, half-lidded pose only a
                  mother could love–

                  Oh, Lord …

                  “Let’s Get Crazy” continues as we …

                  CUT TO:

                  (8) EXT. CLUB (1ST AVE. ST. BAR) — NIGHT

                  The STREETS are swollen with TRAFFIC.
                  KIDS are packed onto the sidewalk,
                  waiting to get into the club. Prince,
                  riding his MOTORCYCLE, weaves between
                  jammed cars, then blasts down a narrow
                  alley leading to the rear entrance. His
                  guitar is slung across his back. He
                  chains up his bike, moves past a CROWD
                  of KIDS, cuts inside.

                  ‘Let’s Get Crazy” continues as we …

                  CUT TO:

                  (9) EXT. STREETS #2 — NIGHT

                  A SEVILLE sweeps to a stop. The
                  Businessman is at the wheel. Vanity


                    steps from the car languidly and offers
                    a curt wave goodbye. The car pulls

                    She stands serenely a moment as the CAR
                    twists around the corner. She grabs
                    her bag, rushes into a dark alley. She
                    pulls a handful of CASH from her pocket,
                    counts through it quickly.

                    ‘Let’s Get Crazy” -continues as we …

                    CUT TO:

                    (10) EXT. MORRIS’ APARTMENT — NIGHT

                    The DOOR opens — Morris steps
                    confidently into the night. The change
                    in his appearance is breathtaking. A
                    cashmere coat is draped over his
                    shoulders, a white scarf hangs loosely
                    about his neck. Wearing a sharp,
                    gangster-style suit, his hair is a
                    pompadour, and Stacy Adams on his feet –
                    – Morris is the very picture of
                    elegance. He doesn’t just walk to the
                    curb, he slides — his promenade
                    punctuated with a dip at the knees you
                    could snap your fingers to.

                    JEROME is at the curb, buffing down the
                    bumper of a yellow, 1970 Fleetwood
                    Cadillac. Jerome is solidly built,
                    smooth-faced handsome with a boyish
                    charm all his own. He’s a member of The
                    Time, and acts as Morris’ chauffeur,
                    valet, and all-purpose shadow.

                    He moves quickly to the door, holds it
                    open as Morris settles himself into the
                    backseat. He closes it with a flair,
                    hops behind the wheel, pulls out.

                    ‘Let’s Get Crazy” continues as we…

                    CUT TO:

                    (11) INT. DRESSING ROOM, CLUB — NIGHT


                      Prince is BACKSTAGE, practicing spins in
                      front of the mirror. The other MEMBERS
                      of his CROUP are scattered throughout
                      the room. BOBBY sits off to the side,
                      his drumsticks tapping against his knee.
                      MATT puts on his doctor’s smock. LISA
                      and WENDY finish applying their makeup.
                      MARK runs his fingers up and down the
                      neck of his bass guitar.

                      Suddenly a STAGEHAND pokes his head into
                      the room, holds the door open as Prince
                      and his band cut quickly to the stage.

                      ‘Let’s Get Crazy’ continues as we…

                      CUT TO:

                      (12) INT. MOTEL ROOM — NIGHT

                      The DOOR opens — A LIGHT goes on.
                      Vanity stands in the hallway, peers
                      cautiously into a squalid, rundown room.
                      She hesitates briefly, seems to sigh,
                      then indicates she will take it. The
                      MANAGER closes the door as he leaves.

                      She stands a moment, surveys the room.
                      A bed and bureau, sink, a chair,
                      hotplate — simply the essentials. She
                      pulls a dress from her bag, a pair of hi-
                      heels, some gloves, underwear. She
                      hangs the dress on a rod, places the
                      shoes beneath it, arranges the rest in a
                      bureau drawer. She looks around once
                      more — flowered wallpaper peels from
                      the walls.

                      She rushes to the window, tears open the
                      shutters — iron bars obstruct her

                      (13) EXT. CLUB — NIGHT (VANITY’S POV)

                      … KIDS are crowded in front of the
                      CLUB. A YELLOW CADDY SCREECHES up in
                      front. TRAFFIC is jammed all around.


                        The night is electric — the scene
                        beckons …

                        (14) INT. VANITY’S HALLWAY — NIGHT

                        She runs from the room, cuts down the
                        hallway, slamming the door behind her

                        “Let’s Get Crazy” continues as we…

                        CUT TO:

                        (15) EXT. CLUB (1st AVE. ST. BAR) — NIGHT

                        Jerome opens the door of the CADDY,
                        helps Morris out. The CROWD recognizes
                        them immediately, rushes in for a closer
                        look. Morris loves the attention,
                        plays to their enthusiasm with a relish.
                        Jerome snaps a comb into his hand, holds
                        up a pocket mirror …

                        Morris combs his hair dramatically, the
                        Crowd encouraging him on. Jerome gives
                        him the OK sign, ushers him into the

                        “Let’s Get Crazy” continues as we…

                        CUT TO:

                        (16) INT. CLUB (1st AVE. ST. BAR) — NIGHT

                        Prince onstage performing “Let’s Get
                        Crazy.” He’s locked into a guitar
                        solo, moving provocatively with Wendy.
                        The CROWD is packed onto the DANCE
                        FLOOR, thick against the stage.

                        Jerome makes his way through the crowd,
                        blazing a path for Morris who is
                        surrounded by a dozen BABES.
                        Occasionally Morris glances at Prince —
                        discloses by his look that he doesn’t
                        care much for his act — or his music…

                        He breaks off from the Girls, follows


                          Jerome to the backstage entrance where
                          they’re joined by other MEMBERS of The
                          Time — JESSE and JELLYBEAN among them.
                          Morris casts another glance toward
                          Prince, breaks into a self-satisfied

                          We’re going to slay him…

                          “Let’s Get Crazy” continues as we…

                          CUT TO:

                          (17) EXT. CLUB — NIGHT

                          COMMOTION! The CROWD has become
                          unwieldly — TRAFFIC is snarled all
                          around. HORNS are BLARING. COPS try
                          desperately to ward off the inevitable
                          grid lock.

                          Vanity runs against the light, moves to
                          the head of the queue to the
                          accompaniment of JEERS and CATCALLS.
                          She doesn’t budge an inch, KNOCKS
                          rapidly on the glass door, catching the
                          attention of CHICK, a burly, 6’5″, 285
                          pound bouncer with a white beard and
                          long flowing hair. An ex-Marine,
                          Chick’s function is obvious. He cracks
                          the door–


                          I have an appointment with the

                          No you don’t — he doesn’t see


                            Suddenly a FIGHT breaks out at the
                            INSIDE MONEY WINDOW. Chick spins
                            instantly, SLAMS the door — but Vanity
                            jams her boot into the narrow space.
                            The door crashes against her instep, she
                            winces in pain –but Chick doesn’t
                            notice. He’s already upon the
                            OFFENDERS, heaving them against the

                            Vanity streaks inside, blazes up the
                            stairway, ducks behind a GROUP of

                            CHICK turns instantly — the door is
                            closed — VANITY, gone. His eyes dart
                            up the stairway — nothing. He shrugs,
                            drags the Two Guys off.

                            (18) INT. CLUB — UPPER BAR AREA — NIGHT

                            VANITY watches as he moves away. She
                            jumps up, lunges onto the dance floor,
                            CRASHES into a waitress, JILL, whose
                            tray SMASHES to the floor–

                            What are you retarded or
                            something?! Why don’t you look
                            where you’re going?

                            She’s 18 years old, blonde and pretty in
                            a cute, innocent way. A Daisy Mae-type
                            whose emotions form so quickly, she has
                            trouble sorting them out. Right now
                            she’s mad as hell — she thinks–

                            Sorry … where’s the office?

                            Jill squats, picks up the broken glasses-

                            Do you think you can just come
                            in here and take over?



                              I said I’m sorry — what do
                              you want me to do? Where’s
                              the office?

                              Jill points — Vanity hurries away —

                              No one’s in!

                              Vanity stops dead in her tracks, does a
                              slow burn. She walks back to Jill–

                              Okay, so you got me back,
                              fine. Listen, I’m from out of
                              town. I have to see the
                              manager, it’s important. I’m
                              a real good singer and dancer.
                              I know he could use me.

                              Do you have any experience?

                              Vanity simmers, enunciates every word–


                              Follow me.

                              And she turns on her heels, makes her
                              way through the club, moving into the
                              vicinity of the stage. Vanity follows
                              her reluctantly, casts a look to the
                              band. She spots Prince for the first
                              time — stops instantly…

                              His effect on her is instantaneous.
                              Passion surges through her like a tidal
                              wave. His hair, face, eyes — it all
                              conspires to make her weak. It’s like
                              meeting someone for the first time, but
                              seeing so much of yourself in them, that
                              their lips, eyes, mouth — you’re
                              certain you have touched, and the desire
                              to be with them becomes so strong that


                                the very act of touching will release
                                you in a way you never thought

                                Prince brines “Let’s Get Crazy” to a
                                rousing, blistering end. Suddenly the
                                stage is plunged into darkness. The
                                CROWD goes WILD!

                                …Vanity snaps out of it. Jill is
                                tugging at her arm, a puzzled look on
                                her face–

                                Here, fill this out — I’ll
                                have him call you.

                                I don’t have a phone. When
                                will he be back?

                                Well…you can try tomorrow.


                                You can count on it.

                                Vanity hands the card back to her —
                                Jill reads the name, address — looks up


                                as Morris and The Time pass Prince on
                                their way to the stage–

                                Why don’t you stay awhile, see
                                how it’s done.

                                The Band Members bust up — but Prince
                                ignores them, then–

                                Ladies and gentlemen — please


                                  welcome The Time.
                                  Sudden APPLAUSE and CRIES. Vanity and
                                  Jill turn directly into the path of
                                  Prince, descending the Steps of the
                                  stage. Vanity gasps, LOCKS eyes with
                                  him. Jill seems to jump out of her skin
                                  — it’s obvious she has a crush on him
                                  something awful–

                                  Hi ya, Prince — God I liked
                                  that song, it’s real fun.

                                  She fidgets uncontrollably, Vanity’s
                                  card burning a hole into her hand.
                                  Prince glances at the card, then stares
                                  at Vanity, the ripeness of her look
                                  paralyzing. He tears his eyes away,
                                  puts on his sunglasses, looks toward the

                                  (18A) INT. CLUB — NEAR STAGE — NIGHT

                                  MORRIS and The Time rip into a funk tune
                                  called “Jungle Love.” Their stranglehold
                                  on the audience is instantaneous.
                                  Morris struts across the stage like a
                                  panther, playing to the audience with a
                                  relish. His eyes fastened on Prince —
                                  his pride unmistakable.

                                  PRINCE watches Morris a moment, then
                                  eyes Vanity again. The heat between
                                  them is apparent. Vanity’s heart is
                                  pounding, she’s not sure what to do.
                                  She keeps her eyes on Morris, hoping
                                  that a Solution will present itself.

                                  PRINCE watches as Jill tacks the card to
                                  a board behind the bar. Sizing up the
                                  situation quickly, he again glances at
                                  Vanity — but her eyes are fastened on
                                  Morris. Feeling terribly shy and
                                  thinking there’s nothing he can do to
                                  divert her attention away from him, he
                                  reluctantly heads for the front door.
                                  Vanity finally hits upon something to


                                    say, turns–

                                    I really liked your song

                                    But he’s gone. Her eyes scan the room
                                    frantically — catches a glimpse of him
                                    leaving. She takes a sudden step, then
                                    stops, paralyzed with indecision. Jill
                                    regards her coldly.

                                    MORRIS meanwhile is beside himself.
                                    Some gorgeous, dark-haired babe, eyes
                                    wide as saucers was staring at him from
                                    the bar. Prince has left, and this girl
                                    is his. He motions to Jerome, and they
                                    direct their act in her direction.

                                    JILL gazes at Vanity, fidgets intensely,
                                    suspicious and resentful of her. She
                                    glances up and notices Morris, look.
                                    She seizes upon an idea, forces a
                                    friendly smile, taps Vanity on the

                                    Hey …

                                    She points to the stage. Vanity looks
                                    at Morris, and he goes crazy,
                                    entertaining her with his own special
                                    blend of showmanship. The CROWD loves
                                    it! Vanity is held a moment, but her
                                    thoughts are elsewhere. She finally
                                    comes to a decision, pulls away, cuts
                                    through the club.

                                    (18B) INT. FOYER AND STAIRWAY — NIGHT

                                    as she runs down the stairs, cuts behind
                                    Chick, BURSTS out the door.

                                    (19) EXT. CLUB — NIGHT

                                    FRANTIC! The STREETS are thick with
                                    TRAFFIC. She scans them wildly —
                                    nothing. Suddenly Prince, astride his


                                      motorcycle, BLAZES past her from the
                                      opposite direction. She starts running,

                                      Hey wait!

                                      But Prince is too far away, the traffic
                                      too congested for him to hear. He whips
                                      down the street, disappears around the

                                      Vanity continues running, then slows,
                                      dejection overcoming her in waves. She
                                      looks around — KIDS are staring at her,
                                      passing jokes. Embarrassed, She moves
                                      to the front door but Chick is there,
                                      his eyes upon her cold, impassionate.

                                      Exhausted and slightly tearful, she cuts
                                      across the street, heads back to her

                                      (20) EXT. PRINCE’S HOUSE — NIGHT

                                      Prince WHIPS down the street, cuts his
                                      motor, coasts up the drive. He comes to
                                      a stop against a wooden gate. His house
                                      is a nondescript, one-family structure
                                      with a wide front porch. He lives in a
                                      neat and tidy, homogeneous, lower middle-
                                      class neighborhood whose occupants are
                                      hard-working type fiercely protective of
                                      their privacy.

                                      He climbs the steps to the porch, opens
                                      the front door…

                                      …his mother’s SCREAM is like ice in his
                                      veins. Fear trickles into the hollows
                                      of his body like cold water, His pain
                                      commands him to move, but the impulse
                                      short circuits somewhere at the waist,
                                      leaving his legs twitching
                                      uncontrollably. Then another SCREAM
                                      from his mother, and his father’s voice
                                      now, LOUD and FURIOUS–


                                        FATHER (O.S.)
                                        Listen to me! You come home
                                        when I say come home! You’ve
                                        got no business in the

                                        WHACK! His mother SCREAMS — Prince
                                        BURSTS into the room.

                                        (21) INT. Prince’s LIVING ROOM — NIGHT

                                        Prince’s MOTHER is at the far side of
                                        the living room CRYING uncontrollable.
                                        She’s in her early 40’s, a dark-haired,
                                        faded beauty, with large, wild, anxious
                                        eyes. There’s a detectable scent of
                                        liquor in the air, and her slurred
                                        speech pins her as the source.

                                        His FATHER is in his late 40’s, a squat,
                                        but solidly built black man, with a
                                        cherubic face, and graceful expressive

                                        He’s upon her now, WHACKING! at her
                                        horribly, trying to get to her face–

                                        You do what I say, do you hear
                                        me?! You’ve got to keep this
                                        place clean! You here, no
                                        place else!

                                        You’re crazy!





                                        The Father lunges, WHACKS! her across
                                        the face. She topples to the floor, a


                                          lamp CRASHES to the ground. Prince cuts
                                          through the room, lunges desperately in
                                          front of him–

                                          Please, Dad…she’s heard you.
                                          She’s had enough!

                                          His Mother drags herself up along the

                                          He’s trying to kill me! He’s
                                          crazy! Look what he’s doing
                                          to me!

                                          Dad, please … she’s–

                                          WHACK! Prince’s head snaps back, his
                                          feet lift from the floor, his body
                                          CRASHES in a heap by the door…

                                          Stunned SILENCE. Prince, flat on his
                                          back, fights vertigo with everything
                                          he’s got. His Mother lets out a YELP,
                                          rushes into the bedroom, SLAMS the door.
                                          His Father stands motionless, sullen–

                                          Get up…you ain’t hurt.

                                          Prince opens his Mouth, BLOOD gushes
                                          from a gash in his tongue. He hoists
                                          himself up slowly, using the wall for
                                          support. He moves into the kitchen,
                                          disappears down the basement steps.

                                          (22) BASEMENT — HALLWAYS AND BEDROOM — NIGHT

                                          A naked LIGHT BULB snaps ON. It dangles
                                          like a pendulum, casting strange
                                          shadows. The basement is partitioned
                                          off into a series of rooms,
                                          interconnected by a labyrinthine


                                            combination of passages. An old washer
                                            and dryer stand in the corner.

                                            Prince descends the steps slowly. He
                                            comes through a door, closes it behind
                                            him. He moves down a narrow passageway,
                                            enters a small cramped BEDROOM.

                                            He closes the door and locks it behind
                                            him. MOONLIGHT filters in through the
                                            casement windows. The total effect is
                                            like entering a womb, a deep dark
                                            chamber of security and safety.

                                            Lying heavily onto his bed, he sighs
                                            long and deep, his eyes piercing the

                                            FADE OUT:

                                            FADE IN:

                                            (23) INT. CLUB EARLY MORNING

                                            MUSIC wafts through the sun-drenched
                                            CLUB. Jill is seated at the PIANO, ‘a
                                            la Marlene Dietrich, SINGING to her
                                            heart’s content. A cigarette dangles
                                            from her lip, a police cap is perched
                                            jauntily on her head. It’s a simple bar
                                            tune, delivered slightly off-key, but
                                            with an openness that is endearing.
                                            Chick is working in the corner,
                                            chuckling to himself, stacking chairs,
                                            sweeping up.

                                            Suddenly she stops — listens intently.
                                            She jumps up, deliberately spills her
                                            orange juice on the piano. Prince comes
                                            around the corner, stops short–

                                            What are you doing here?

                                            She’s a bundle of loose, embarrassing
                                            ends — the cigarette, hat, juice–


                                              What…what are you doing

                                              He feels caught out — SCANS the BOARD
                                              earnestly for Vanity’s info — tries
                                              to think of something to say–

                                              Huh … it’s kind of dead in
                                              here. Where is everybody?

                                              In bed I guess…
                                              (to herself)
                                              Oh, God …
                                              (changes subject)
                                              Guess what, I bought a dog.

                                              That’s nice…
                                              (he spots vanity’s card)
                                              Ah, I guess I’ll come back at
                                              a better time. You think
                                              tonight the the place’ll be

                                              Well, I’ll be here — I always
                                              like what you do.

                                              He smiles, moves to the door — Jill
                                              connects with a thought–

                                              Wait! I’ve got something for

                                              What? A subpoena?


                                              She rummages through her bag, pulls out a


                                                It’s a song Lisa and Wendy

                                                He stiffens, doesn’t reach for it–

                                                Why didn’t they give it to me

                                                Well, I liked it and wanted to
                                                listen to it. They told me to
                                                give it to you when I was

                                                He puts his sunglasses on, hesitates,
                                                then takes it from her gingerly. He
                                                regards it for a long time–

                                                You really liked it, huh?

                                                (24) INT. REHEARSAL HALL — DAY

                                                MUSIC throbs through the crammed,
                                                rundown REHEARSAL HALL. Hardwood
                                                floors, a wall of mirrors, and a bank of
                                                windows provides the setting. SUNLIGHT
                                                streams through tattered yellow shades.

                                                The Time is set up on one side providing
                                                the music for “Sex Shooter” a saucy
                                                number with an irresistible beat.

                                                Morris, with Jerome by his side, stands
                                                in the middle of the floor, SHOUTS
                                                instructions to…

                                                …BRENDA and SUSAN, gamely trying some
                                                intricate dance steps. Brenda is 21
                                                years old, blond, sexy, with an alluring
                                                new-wave look. Susan is 16 years old,
                                                with dark, lustrous hair and a sexy baby-
                                                doll quality. Right now they’re tired as
                                                hell, and a little angry–


                                                  One, two, three, kick! One,
                                                  two, three, kick! Four,
                                                  five…Oh, Lord. Cut! Cut!

                                                  The MUSIC stops, the girls come to a
                                                  halt — Morris regards them evenly–

                                                  You ladies don’t seem to
                                                  realize how valuable my time
                                                  is. You’re going to make my
                                                  boys look bad.

                                                  Why don’t you let us come up
                                                  with our own steps?

                                                  Morris glares at her–

                                                  We tried that…
                                                  … remember?

                                                  The Girls fidget–

                                                  Now you’re in the best
                                                  possible position you can be
                                                  in, so what’ s the matter —
                                                  your shoes on too tight or
                                                  (claps his hands)
                                                  Let’s have some action, let’s
                                                  have some asses wiggling, I
                                                  want some perfection. Whawhak!

                                                  The MUSIC starts up — the Girls start
                                                  dancing. Morris looks woefully to

                                                  I think I’m going to need a
                                                  drink, a strong drink.
                                                  (a beat)
                                                  Let’s get the hell out of



                                                    (25) EXT. STREETS AND ALLEY — DOWNTOWN — DAY

                                                    Morris and Jerome move briskly down the

                                                    This just ain’t happening. The
                                                    bitches are okay, but we need
                                                    something more exciting-

                                                    You’re right. We could be
                                                    doing much better. Any ideas?

                                                    That powder fine babe we saw
                                                    last night.

                                                    Oooh, yeee! — Why don’t we
                                                    find out who she is?

                                                    Morris snaps an address in front of his

                                                    I already know that. Jill
                                                    gave me everything last night.

                                                    Then what are we waiting for?
                                                    Let’s go!

                                                    No, no — that ain’t classy
                                                    enough. I want the bitch to
                                                    come to me — I’m the only
                                                    star in this town.

                                                    Suddenly a BEAUTIFUL BABE lunges into
                                                    the sidewalk from the alley–



                                                      Morris Day, who do you think
                                                      you are?! I waited up all
                                                      night for you. I’m so tired
                                                      of you doing that to me. You
                                                      think you’re so hot? You’re
                                                      nothing special. This is the
                                                      third time you pulled that
                                                      shit. Who the fuck do you
                                                      think I am?!


                                                      Jerome puts the girl in a headlock,
                                                      DRAGS her into the alley–

                                                      Leave me alone you ape! —
                                                      What are you doing to me?!

                                                      He flings her into the dumpster, SLAMS
                                                      the lid with a CRASH. Morris pats his

                                                      Lo-rd..! Such nastiness.
                                                      (a beat)
                                                      Hee, hee — Let’s break.

                                                      They streak across the street, double-
                                                      time it to the CADDY. A COP sweeps by,
                                                      gives them a curious look. Morris puts
                                                      on a dignified air, then stops,

                                                      Jerome, this car —
                                                      it’s…it’s lacking something.
                                                      What do you think?

                                                      Hmm… I don’t know…

                                                      I got it! The hubcaps. We
                                                      need something sweeter.

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