Even though he had released five albums before 1984's "Purple Rain," it was the film and its soundtrack that transformed Prince into one of the world's biggest pop stars. It marked Prince's feature-film debut, and it is easily the best movie he ever made. For its 20th anniversary, a wide-screen two-disc DVD set has been released, complete with a slew of tasty extras and videos.
Surprisingly, the film has held up well. Though the plot is loosely autobiographical -- young, moody musician and his band, the Revolution, fight for respect in Minneapolis -- this was more than a vanity project (those would come later with "Under the Cherry Moon" and "Graffiti Bridge," both also making their DVD debuts this week). Thanks to Albert Magnoli, who directed the film and co-wrote the script with William Blinn, the film is both poignant -- Clarence Williams III as Prince's troubled father is wonderful -- and funny, with Morris Day of the Time stealing every scene in which he appears. And of course, the centerpiece of the film is Prince and his band giving some of the most electrifying concert performances ever captured on film.
Extras: Commentary by Magnoli, producer Robert Cavallo, and cinematographer Donald E. Thorin; three short documentaries about the Minneapolis music scene and the making of the movie; eight music videos featuring Prince, the Time, and Apollonia 6; and the original MTV broadcast of the film's premiere party with a surly Prince, who never cracks a smile or acknowledges his fans, arriving in a purple Cadillac. (Warner Bros., $26.99)