Under the Cherry Moon

Friday, May 6 - Saturday, May 7, 2016

35mm print!

If you wanted to buy a Sam Cooke album, where would you go?

If you know the answer to that question, you’ve probably seen Prince’s glittering and hugely underappreciated directorial debut, one of only three features he directed in his all-too-short filmmaking career. In the 1986 UNDER THE CHERRY MOON, an ode to Hollywood glamour shot in plush, feathery black-and-white, Prince himself appeared as a pianist and hustler who falls for snooty rich girl Kristen Scott Thomas. At first, she’ll have nothing to do with him, and Prince, wounded, decides to get the better of her. At a fancy dinner, he writes the words “wrecka stow” on a napkin and asks her to read them aloud. She does, repeatedly, in her posh, plummy accent. (It doesn’t hurt that she’s wearing an elaborate beaded flapper headdress.) In her white-girl cluelessness, she’s sure it’s a nonsense phrase, and the more she says it, the funnier it gets. Prince and his scamming partner, played by Jerome Benton, destroy themselves laughing. It’s a moment of naughty joy, a triumph of knowledge over education, of taste over breeding, of style over affectation—but, good-natured at its heart, it’s also a moment of unifying anti-snobbery.

In that sense, it’s pure Prince.” -Stephanie Zacharek, Time

Part of the series When U Were Ours: Remembering Prince


  • Country USA
  • Rating PG-13
  • Year 1986
  • Running Time 98 minutes
  • Director Prince